Ephesians: 4: 31-32
Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
SLANDER :: a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report.
Well I was listening to someone describe a situation to me and I was informed that I was guilty of slander. The dictionary definition of slander has to say that there is a false statement about someone. When the statement is TRUE it is NOT slander!
Because I was involved closely with the event it was not gossip it was a clarification of facts. So NOW I have to be careful of the rest of this verse.
“tenderhearted, forgiving one another”
yeah that to me is the hard part. forgiveness even when none is requested. Trying to remain Tender hearted. It is not so much just to forget it and move on, it is to realize that there is damage on both sides of a situation and to curb your actions and words (no matter how justified) in recognition of that. This is my struggle with the verse that was put on me.
I think it must be read in greater context however and that led me to view this even a bit differently. (NOTE: perhaps even a larger context than I can go into here now)
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Putting away falsehood and speak the truth. Again this isn’t slander, this is correction. This is making plain and bringing us inline to a Biblical conclusion. Having a righteous anger is NOT a sin, but with anger comes the danger of giving in control to the devil and getting carried away.
Still looking at the prime example of Jesus Christ in the Temple, or calling out to the Pharisees and Scribes, “You brood of vipers! (Matthew 12:34)” we have to realize there IS appropriate anger but we also MUST be biblical in our response and call for repentance.
After the anger, after the cleansing after… there must be an opportunity for building one another up. The corrected and the corrector.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up,”
This verse is key for the after the anger has concluded. Also notice this is after the criminal in the example from scripture has stopped and changed his ways. We forgive but w/o repentance we can not forget, we must give them over to the world to be punished as scripture instructs us.
However, once the matter is resolved, the idle talk and further speculation can not help the situation once it is resolved. Once the call for repentance has happened and the sinner repentant or not must be given to God for the punishment.
The last part of this section says:
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
This is talking to both sides of an argument if they are Christians. We can not continue to harbor these bitter feelings and resentments. We should not forget them either, but we must be careful to not allow them to interfere with the Holy Spirit in our lives.
So yeah this is a bit of a personal post and yeah this is a bit raw in the heart right now. But this is solid scripture to learn from and perhaps food for thought on future encounters.