Gossip vs. Slander



 

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 1 Peter 2:1

Slander is gossip on steroids. To slander is to make a false and damaging statement about someone. Both slander and gossip have their roots in selfishness, and both can destroy people and relationships. Here’s how it works:

Beth heard that her colleague Jane was up for the next promotion. Jealous, she shared that news with others in the office over lunch, and they took turns picking apart Jane and her inferior qualities. That is gossip. And it’s wrong. But when Beth shared her opinions about Jane’s unworthiness with the hiring manager—including casting suspicion on Jane’s financial situation and parenting struggles--gossip became slander. Jane’s personal life had nothing to do with whether or not she should be considered for the job, but Beth’s motive was to make Jane appear less qualified, whether her assertions were true or not. Either way, her suggestions were enough to cast a negative shadow over Jane’s character. That is slander. God makes it clear that our motivation for everything must be love. While gossip and slander harm the reputations of others, love guards them. While gossip and slander find the faults, love finds the good. When love rules our conversations, we stay clear of slander

 How much of your “sharing of information” may actually be slanderous?

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