“Taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the FLAMING ARROWS of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16 NASB).
Slander can be compared to an arrow; because an archer strikes without a victim knowing who hit them. The damage is inflicted from afar. The evil spread by a slanderous tongue attacks at a distance. Slander can be further compared to flaming arrows; because its effects easily spread like fire. Recall how slander wreaks triple destruction on the one who speaks, the one who listens, and the one slandered. (Please refer to https://sapphirethroneministries.wordpress.com/2020/10/13/slander-wreaks-triple-destruction/).
In these days of social media, there are typically many more people listening to and spreading slander (typically unbeknownst to them), which seems to be creating an unsettling and raging wildfire via the world wide web. We are literally witnessing the greatest deception and distortion of reality that this world has ever seen. This is the time to FIX your eyes upon Yeshua (Jesus) and ask Him to set a guard over your mouth.
Many moons ago, I saw in the Spirit many arrows coming out from a mouth. Its tongue was like a bow while the arrows were destructive words. The Book of James is an excellent go-to reference when it comes to the tongue – a slanderous tongue or otherwise: “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defies the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell” (James 3:2-6 NKJV).
Once we sin with our words, we cannot call back an arrow once its released. Rabbeinu Yonah elaborates in the Gates of Repentance that slander outweighs the worst sins, even the three cardinal transgressions of idolatry, illicit relations, and murder. One reason slander is considered so egregious is that even when the slanderer wishes to repent, they must ask forgiveness of all who have suffered from their damaging remarks. Besides probably not knowing everyone the slander influenced, there is the additional issue of having to admit one’s slanderous remarks when the victim is probably unaware of you kindling the fire.
Thank God He is able to clean up our sinful messes: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Always remember that we all have our part to play. Confession doesn’t exonerate us from doing the right things, like repentance, recompense, restitution, etc.
One of the things that kept King David so humble was having to constantly deal with slanderous tongues. King David has this to say about the man – Doeg the Edomite – who slandered him to King Saul, which caused Saul to hate and pursue him: “Why do you boast in evil, O mighty man? The goodness of God endures continually. Your tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully. You love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness. Selah. You love all devouring words, you deceitful tongue. God shall likewise destroy you forever; He shall take you away, and pluck you out of your dwelling place, and uproot you from the land of the living, Selah” (Psalms 52:1-5 NKJV).
David always sought to apply any lessons to himself first: “I said, ‘I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.’ I was mute with silence I held my peace even from good; and my sorrow was stirred up. My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned. Then I spoke with my tongue: ‘LORD, make me to know my end, and what is the measure of my days, that I may know how frail I am. Indeed, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my age is as nothing before You; certainly every man at his best state is but vapor. SELAH. Surely every man walks about like a shadow; surely they busy themselves in vain; he heaps up riches, and does not know who will gather them. And now, Lord, what do I wait for? My hope is in You’” (Psalms 39:1-7 NKJV).
King David’s shield of faith was that he knew that his hope was in the Lord of Love alone. May all of our hearts cry: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalms 51:10 NKJV). Stopping slander starts with ourselves.
Give em heaven!!!
Written October 16, 2020 – Sapphire Throne Ministries – Robin Main. Copyrighted – If you are going to copy this, please copy it right by giving attributions to this source.
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