Psalm 15:1 LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
The words that so flippantly slip from our tongues are often used by the Devil as weapons to wound others. When we think of biting something, we think of using our teeth; yet backbiting employs the tongue. Backbiting is the act of saying something disparaging about someone without regard to the harm caused to that person. Today’s passage demonstrates that the Lord considers backbiting a detestable act; so much so, that David said the backbiter would not abide in the Lord’s tabernacle. According to James chapter 3, the tongue kindles a great fire (James 3:5) and is a world of iniquity (James 3:6). The Bible proves that the quaint phrase used as a child, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is both untrue and unscriptural. Instead, the tongue is “full of deadly poison” (James 3:8). Backbiting wounds its victims – wounds which sometimes fester for years under the surface!
- (For children): Backbiting is saying mean things about a person while the person is not present. In doing so, we tend to make ourselves look good by making others feel unhappy with the person about whom we are talking.
- (For everyone): When speaking to others, do you find yourself speaking ill of others? Do you say things that could personally harm others or hurt their testimony? Are the things that you say about others generally uplifting or destructive?
- Have you ever had anybody say true things about you but unnecessary and brought about harm to you? How did you feel when they said those things? Should this cause you to think before doing the same to others?
- Ask the Lord to help you to use wisdom when speaking of others.
- Ask God to help you avoid being a part of the destructive sin of backbiting.