Whoever conceals hatred with lying lips and spreads slander is a fool. Proverbs 10:18 (NIV).
Someone wise once said, “Better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.” It’s easy for us to spot a fool in the world and we are quick to do it. We laugh at people’s faults. We joke about another’s ignorance. We laugh when people say the wrong thing at the wrong time. We rejoice in others’ mistakes.
But it is often harder for us to recognize and confront our own foolishness. The Bible talks about fools as people who disregard the word of God. A fool is someone who returns to their own messes and forgets who or what caused their own mess. They think that their actions have no consequences and feel that their sin is less than their neighbor’s. And in today’s reading, a fool is one who spreads slander.
Slander is anytime we say something false about another person. These statements damage, they hurt and they wound. And we are a fool if we keep doing it. It is easy to fall into patterns of talking bad about others. It makes us feel better about ourselves if others are doing worse by our own measuring stick. And we've all done it.
BUT, in God’s eyes, it makes us a fool. In trying to do something to make ourselves feel better about ourselves, we actually become less. Less kind, less loving, and less like Christ.
Today, as you walk through your workplace, your home, and your life, ask God to give you the grace to not speak badly about others around. Ask Him to help you love others as you have been loved and pray that He might show you how to live as a wise man or woman who loves others with the love of Jesus.