The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.
One of the most valued possessions a person has is their good name. Someone has said that it is better to die with a good name than to live with a bad one. Solomon said, “A good name is to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).
This is at the heart of the Ninth Commandment: protecting a person’s reputation. A good name involves both character and reputation. Character is who we are and reputation is who men perceive us to be. Reputation flows out of character and credibility flows out of reputation.
A twin brother to gossip is criticism. Criticism is derogatory remarks made about someone’s actions, ways, and deeds to make that person look bad. Many people are like vultures circling in the air looking for something rotten. The vulture does not see the green grass, beautiful flowers, and lovely trees. It only sees what is rotten and dead. Critics are vultures. The truth is that none is perfect, yet often we only see the bad and never the good.
Character destruction is spreading like wild fire throughout our churches, community, even our nation. It is time that we stand up and say “Enough!” G. Campbell Morgan said, “While the methods of persecutions by imprisonment and torture have passed, martyrs are still being made by the process of false witness borne. Many a good name and reputation have died on the gallows of a false witness. Many a testimony has been burned at the stake of another bearing false witness.”
- Do you have an eye for criticism? Ask God to reveal this to you this week.
- Make it your goal to compliment those around you. See what happens.
1 Chron. 28:9 Ps. 7:9 Prov. 17:3; 28:26 Jer. 17:5 Matt. 5:27-30
Lord, emblazon on our hearts the words of the Ninth Commandment. May we feel the pain of those we harm the next time we begin to spread the venom of gossip and criticism..