3/17 Leviticus 19:16

16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.


Perhaps one of our most frequently exercised faults is slander. We speak it about the other driver in traffic, about the singer at church, the neighbor down the block, and the relative we don't particularly like. It spills out of us so readily that we should wonder what is wrong with us.

The problem is our sinful nature. We are quick to condemn others but slow to see the same fault in ourselves. In fact, it is often true that what annoys us about others is what we don't like about our own tendencies. Slander elevates us above others in our own minds, but we may be just fooling ourselves (Proverbs 10:18).

God forbids slander because it is not helpful to us and can cause unnecessary pain and sorrow to others. It separates friends (Proverbs 16:28). It is judging others when it is not our place to do so (Matthew 7:1). It is usually an expression of pride and hardness of heart. We want to rebuke others for their selfishness because of our own selfishness. Can someone say "Hypocrite"? When we see someone doing what appears to be offensive to us, it should prompt us to pray for them. How much more helpful that would be than slander!

An Exercise: Watch how often you are tempted to slander someone. Look into your own heart and see the reason you want to do so. Think about how you should pray for the person and yourself instead.