We all like to hear stories about other people. It is in the makeup of our flesh as human beings. It is an insatiable desire to be in the know and to feel better than others.
You might hear some say to you, “Did you hear?”
Or my all-time favorite, “I have a prayer request about a person…Okay! I’ll let you know what is going on so we can “pray” for them.”
What does it mean to assassinate a person’s character?
The Bible talks about it. It is the word, "slander." To slander someone, this means literally, "to whisper."
It is a simple but deadly approach that people take towards others. Sometimes people assassinate others because they feel hurt by another person. Sometimes they are feeling inadequate and want to put others down to make themselves feel elevated.
"Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame." 1 Peter 3:16
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets; therefore do not associate with a simple babbler. Proverbs 20:19.
In every conversation we have an opportunity. Do we continue to assassinate someone's character or refuse to join in it. Many times I have failed and listened and even shared my thoughts about others. Learning to love people and applying Matthew 18 should be the goal of every Christ follower.
How do I learn to use words of healing instead of assassination?
Ask these questions:
Is it True? Remember this rule about gossip: The more interesting it is, the more likely it is to be false.
Is it Helpful? Will your words help bring about a solution to a problem?
Is it Inspiring? Will your words build up someone?
Is it Necessary? Do we have to say anything at all?
Is it Kind? Are your words based on a desire to help?
Overall, instead of assassination of character, we should seek to speak life into others.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:14-15.