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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Speak No Evil

The Apostle Paul wrote one of his pastoral epistles to a co-worker named Titus. He asked Titus to train others to be good citizens, to be ready to every good work, and to be gentle. He was to teach them not to speak evil of anyone. (Titus 3:1-2) The reasons behind these teachings were God’s mercy, kindness, and love. (Titus 3:4-7)

Don’t speak evil.

This doesn’t seem to fit in our culture today. More and more, mud slinging is defended under “freedom of speech.” Gossip is spread both in talk shows and over the fence. Through social media, people completely ruin another’s reputation, telling a story which may or may not be true, and spreading it widely, fast. Some criminal cases are flung out to “the court of public opinion” too quickly—before all the facts are known and way before they’re presented in a court of justice. Verbal abuse is rampant.

In contrast, the Bible urges Christians to speak evil of no man (Titus 3:2). This includes our enemies. (We’re supposed to pray for them. Matthew 5:44) We need to speak the truth in love as we grow in Christ (Ephesians 4:15). Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9). Gossip is simply wrong. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off (Psalm 101:5a).

The Virtuous Woman openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness (Proverbs 31: 26).

I remember being in a group of Christian ladies when one of them said something nice about someone not present. One of the other women said to her, “You don’t ever say anything bad about anybody.” My thought reaction was, “Well, isn’t that the way Christians are supposed to act?”

My dad used to sing a little song that went, “If you can’t say something good about your neighbor, don’t say nothin’ at all.” It turns out to be a biblical concept (even if the English isn’t so good).

Speak no evil—of anyone. Let’s all heed that lesson today!


  1. There is a song on a CD we have from Clearwater Christian that says something like, "You can say anything about me you want to as long as you say it on your knees." :-)

    1. Just looked up the words -- found a copy here:

  2. Thank you! What a great perspective! We'd all do well to do more praying and less talking!!!


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