2 Vital Truths About Slander You Need To Know

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What are the truths about slander? What should you do if someone slanders you? What should you do if you're tempted to slander someone else? What do we do if everyone is doing it? Let's talk...

We don’t use the word “slander” very often anymore. Although we do hear its synonyms … defamation, backstabbing, and bad-mouthing being used on a regular basis.

What exactly is “slander”? What are the truths about slander?

Slander is defined as…

  • Accusations based on hearsay and rumors that remain undocumented and unproven.
  • A false spoken statement about someone that damages their reputation.
  • An abusive attack on a person’s character or good name.

So, slander is the use of words to disparage and defeat someone who is perceived as an enemy or opponent needing to be crushed. Sadly, we have come to accept it as simply part of society. It’s used in politics, business, and anywhere else the need to “win whatever the cost” is deemed necessary.

So, young, old, and every age in between has to deal with the problems that are caused by slander.

Paul wrote to Timothy about the “Last Days” before Jesus’ return, saying…

In the last days, there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control.

2 Timothy 3:1b–3

Are you nodding along with Paul’s words? Do you ever wonder if our current age is the very one Paul was anticipating?

Once again, when we read all of God’s Word, we quickly understand that disobedience, lack of love, unforgiveness, and even slander are not new. They’ve been around since sin entered the world.

David wrote about his struggle with slanderers in Psalm 140

Lord, rescue me from evil people;
    protect me from cruel people
who make evil plans,
    who always start fights.
They make their tongues sharp as a snake’s;
    their words are like snake poison. 

Psalm 140:1–3

Slander is like poison. It kills reputations, ruins relationships, and breaks hearts.

The truth is, God cares about the damage of slander so much that He added a Commandment about it…

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Exodus 20:16 (NASB)

And Jesus said…

“I tell you that on the Judgment Day people will be responsible for every careless thing they have said.” 

Matthew 12:36

So, what are two vital truths about slander?

  1. Slander is a sin. It destroys people – breaking hearts, injuring reputations, and ruining relationships.
  2. Slander needs to be confessed to God in repentance asking Him for forgiveness and healing.

Here are Some Biblical Truths About Slander…

It’s important for us to only speak truthful words that are kind, caring, and forgiving so that we might be living examples of God’s love…

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. All bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and slander must be removed from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 4:29–32

When we are on the receiving end of slander, we must surrender the pain to God and trust Him to reveal the truth and give us the help we need…

Protect me, Lord,
from the power of the wicked.
Keep me safe from violent men
who plan to make me stumble.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”
Listen, Lord, to my cry for help.
Lord, my Lord, my strong Savior,
you shield my head on the day of battle.
Lord, do not grant the desires of the wicked;
do not let them achieve their goals.

Psalm 140:4, 6–8

And if we are guilty of slandering someone intentionally or unintentionally . . . we must quickly repent, ask God for His forgiveness, and invite Him to help us speak the truth in love.

What are the truths about slander? What should you do if someone slanders you? What should you do if you're tempted to slander someone else? What do we do if everyone is doing it? Let's talk...

Let’s pray…

A Prayer to Know and Live
the Truths About Slander

Father, the truths about slander are that slander is a sin and that it is hateful and destructive. You know how evil words are able to destroy reputations and relationships. You included lying about others in Your list of commands for us.

Your Spirit inspired Peter to write, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies.” And inspired Solomon to write, There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things He detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” (Proverbs 6:16–19)

Your Word tells us that You want us to speak the truth in love with gentleness and respect. It tells us that You want us to build each other up in faith and encourage one another in love. Please forgive us for the times we fall short of Your will for us. And help us to love as You command.

In this day and age when slander seems like a way of life. When people lie for selfish goals and purposes … please protect us from all harm and danger. Guard our hearts and cover us with Your loving care.

I love You, Lord, and I give myself to You. Please use me for Your glory that I might shine the light of Your love. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

What are the truths about slander? What should you do if someone slanders you? What should you do if you're tempted to slander someone else? What do we do if everyone is doing it? Let's talk...

So, here are just a few things for us to ask ourselves before we speak about someone else … online or in person.

Am I building them up or tearing them down?

Am I telling the truth?

Will speaking this make the situation better or worse?

Am I honoring God with the words I’m about to speak?

And finally, I have an important truth I learned years ago…

If they will do it with you; they will do it to you!

In other words, if someone gossips to you they will gossip about you. If they lie to you they will lie about you. And so on and so forth.

Let’s make it a goal to honor God with our words. He promises that when we repent of the past, He will forgive us. And when we ask for His help to speak the truth in love for His glory … well, that’s something He loves to do, too.

May the Lord bless you and give you all you need to shine the light of His love today and always.

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15 Comments

  1. Kathy Francescon says:

    The saying “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything” has been around as long as I can remember! And I have always tried to live this out…Psalm 141:3 Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth: keep the door of my lips. And Psalm 19:14
    is one of my very favorite daily prayers (sometimes throughout my whole day) …Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Thank you, Deb for this reminder and as always your beautiful prayers always touch my heart and soul! Blessings, dear friend, and blessings to my dear friend, Sue! I have missed everyone these past few weeks and so thankful to be in community with such lovely and righteous souls! Hugs and love to all!

    1. I remember my mom teaching me that quote from Thumper’s mom in the movie, Bambi. It’s a great saying, one I taught my own children as well. We’ve missed you, too. I hope you are feeling better and that you are finding some peace and quiet after the window project. Thanks for always being such a wonderful encourager. Blessings and hugs, my friend!

    2. Kathy,

      I too love the verse you gave about the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord. It is one of my favorites.
      Love you Kathy and glad you are better.

  2. JULIA JOHNSON says:

    I AM SO GLAD I FOUND YOUR SITE- IT HAS BEEN A HUGE BLESSING TO ME- CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT TRANSLATION YOU LIKE TO USE?
    THANK YOU
    JULIA JOHNSON

    1. Oh, thank you so very much, Julia! I truly appreciate your visit and kindness. My two favorite translations are the Christian Standard Bible and the New Living Translation. The Bible I use and quote most often is the NLT – Life Application Bible. I’ve found it very helpful in my daily study. God be with you and bless you!

  3. Wow! This couldn’t have been more timely! Just when all the holiday blues started to register in my heart and speech….the TRUTH about slander hit me! Help me Jesus to keep my speech in check with what You want me to say and not what I would say.

    1. Hi, Donna. I’m so glad it encouraged you! I’m asking the Lord to give you His peace and give you much joy to replace the holiday blues. God bless you!

  4. Martha Orlando says:

    Slander hurts everyone and helps no one, Deb. Lord, guard my tongue and my heart!
    Blessings!

    1. I’m joining you in that prayer, Martha! May the Lord help me speak words that lift up and encourage only. God bless you, dear friend!

  5. Yes, slander and gossip are such evil things. If anyone here has ever been the victim of viscious gossip you can know how badly it hurts. I have found that sometimes we may “see” something that is not what we think we see! Your momma was right! If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. I have to be honest and tell you that there have been many times that I have said things that were not nice. I also have to be honest and say that I don’t think I have said anything to slander anyone. I know it hurts God when I don’t gurard my words. He loves us all. Now, I try to gurard my mouth. Building someone up or encouraging them is what I like to do.
    “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you! ”
    Deb,Thank you for this wonderful reminder. And Kathy, I have missed you and your replies. I am so glad to see you back and I do hope that you are feeling much better.
    God Bless you and Deb, God bless you. You are such a wonderful encourager!

    1. Thanks Sue! It seems like gossip and slander have grown since the addition of the internet and social media. We need God’s help to focus on the things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable excellent or praiseworthy. Philippians 4:8 If we all could focus on those things we’d be less critical and be less tempted to gossip or slander. Thanks as always for adding to the conversation and blessing us all with encouragement. Hugs!

  6. Nancy Ruegg says:

    “If they will do it with you; they will do it to you!” I’ve never heard that saying before, but it makes perfect sense. Thank you, Deb, for sharing ways to recognize slander within ourselves. It’s a slithery sin that can wriggle into our conversations before we even realize what’s happening!

    1. Thanks, Nancy! You’re so right. I’m trying to remember to pray first and surrender my words to god first. Oh, to be more consistent. God be with you and bless you!

  7. JoyceThomas says:

    Great post my dear, it reminds me of a neighbor who lied about me a few years back. He also took it to the manager of the place we were living and she believed it!!! It really hurt and to be honest thinking on it again, it still does. I’ll never understand why do such things to others and just walk away from it 😞

    1. Thank you for your kind encouragement, Joyce. I am so very sorry that happened to you. It truly hurts when people spread slander about us. I have learned my best response is to give it to God and trust Him to take care of it. By His grace and for His glory. God bless you!