Recently I ran across the following rules to live by as it relates to “evil-speaking” (gossip, slander, etc.).
It comes from the writings of Reverend Charles Simeon, a well-known English minister from the early 1800’s. These timeless truths are just as relevant today as they were in Simeon’s day and bear repeating (and practicing).
Rev. Simeon wrote: The longer I live, the more I feel the importance of adhering to the rules which I have laid down for myself in relation to evil-speaking:
- To hear as little as possible what is the prejudice of others.
- To believe nothing of the kind till I am absolutely forced to it.
- Never to drink into the spirit of one who circulates an ill report.
- Always to moderate, as far as I can, the unkindness which is expressed toward others.
- Always to believe, that if the other side were heard, a very different account would be given of the matter.
- My enemy, whatever evil he says of me, does not reduce me so low as he would if he knew all concerning me that God knows.
- In drawing the balance, as between Debtor and Creditor, I find that if I have been robbed of a pence, there are pounds and talents placed to my account to which I have no just title.
- If man has his day, God will have His.
- The ONE THING for today: “Evil-speaking” (gossip, slander, defamation of character, misrepresentation of the truth) is going to happen today but you do not have to be a part of it.
Proverbs 6:16-19 (NKJV)
16 These six things the Lord hates,
Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:
17 A proud look,
A lying tongue,
Hands that shed innocent blood,
18 A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that are swift in running to evil,
19 A false witness who speaks lies,
And one who sows discord among brethren.