Evil speaking is similar to slander or gossip, which is saying something about someone that hurts their good name or reputation. The Bible says the tongue is like a fire – and a fire can be destructive. (see James 3:6) If we hear evil speaking, slander or gossip, we should put a stop to it, and not listen or participate.
Titus (3:2 Good News Translation) tells us how we should act: “Tell them not to speak evil of anyone, but to be peaceful and friendly, and always to show a gentle attitude toward everyone.”
Proverbs (16:28 Good News Translation) says, “Gossip is spread by wicked people; they stir up trouble and break up friendships.”
Evil speaking is dangerous. We cannot read other people’s hearts – only God can do that. For example, King David and King Nahash of the Ammonites were friends. When King Nahash died, David sent ambassadors to the king’s son, Hanun, to express his sympathy about his father’s death. But Hanun’s advisors spoke evil about David, assuming he had bad motives. They said David had NOT sent messengers to honor his father, but to spy on the city so he could conquer it. They then mistreated the sincere messengers, and this act started a war! (see 2 Sam 10)
David tells us about his experiences with gossip and evil speaking in Psalms: (41:5-7 Life Application Bible-double checked by LJ) “But my enemies say… evil about me…They visit me as if they are my friends, but all the while they gather gossip, and when they leave, they spread it everywhere.” Remember to treat others like WE want to be treated.
(see 1 Peter 2:1) Peter associated evil speaking with envy. We may say negative things about others because we are jealous of their abilities – maybe we want to make ourselves look better by making someone else look bad. But Ephesians (4:29 NLT) says, “…Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
So, what is evil speaking? It’s talking about someone that may result in ruining their good name or reputation. If we hear someone evil speaking about another person, we can kindly but firmly say we don’t want to listen, and then we can change the topic to something positive. If we participate in evil speaking, we should ask God for forgiveness and the ability to do better. As Christians, we want to build others up, not tear them down!
This video is from Christian Questions Podcast. For more information please go to https://christianquestions.com