Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All Things Bright And Beautiful"1 (Lyrics)
Proverbs 12:22 – Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight. (NKJV)
I have always liked classical, operetta, and opera music. When I was young, we did not have access to it, other than what we may have heard on the radio occasionally. But when we moved to Vienna, Austria, that great capital of the music world, we had the opportunity to attend a considerable number of operas and operettas. One of my favourite operas was, and still is "The Barber of Seville".
The opera has a typical plot of love and intrigue, and has some really good music. Part of the opera tells us that Doctor Bartolo, the guardian of a young girl named Rosita, is in love with her, and his efforts to win her over have failed. She is in love with young Count Almaviva. Doctor Bartolo consults his friend, Don Basilio, and he suggests that he start a slanderous story about them, in an effort to break them up.
Then in an aria, he elaborates on what slander is. It is like a little breeze, a gentle little breeze; it is subtle, light, and sweet; it is soft and tender. It idles around inside one's ears; it enters the brain, and it comes out of the mouth like a crescendo; it spreads, and it explodes like a cannon. As the aria continues, the music gets louder and louder, and the audience can see and feel how slander and gossip can destroy someone.
The Bible has much advice on the subject of what we say about others.
James 4:11a – Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. (NKJV)
Proverbs 30:10 – Do not malign a servant to his master, lest he curse you, and you be found guilty. (NKJV)
Proverbs 10:18 – Whoever hides hatred has lying lips, and whoever spreads slander is a fool. (NKJV)
Matthew 12:36 – But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. (NKJV)
These days, there are so many opinions expressed in the media that we have trouble determining which are true, exaggerated, slander, or just plain lies. It is most discouraging at times. It is so important that we, who honour the name of Christ, do live lives of positive, encouraging integrity, so that people will know that what we say is true and loving.
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are times when we, too, have been caught up in gossip, slander, or lies. We ask for Your forgiveness. Enable us to live lives of truth and love. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.