Intro: Nothing can ruin human relationships quite like hateful speech and lying. When someone implements these tactics of evil within relationships, it is not long until others around him or her begin to distance themselves. For those wounded by words, maintaining a distance becomes a way to guard their hearts from further injury.
God did not create us to use our words in unloving or cruel fashion. When we lie or talk about others behind their backs, we are hypocrites and Jesus is dishonored; nothing can justify such behavior from believers. If we are willing to be honest, we know better. When we belittle other people or speak unkindly to them or about them, we have forgotten the mercy and goodness of God toward us. Instead of casting blame or pointing out the shortcomings of others, let’s take responsibility for our imperfect behaviors—this is what it means to be a disciple of Christ.
We can all learn something from our passage from Peter, today, because he is a very credible witness to the verbal traits God had to redeem in his very own life. Many times, Peter spoke and then thought; by the way, this is just the opposite of what believers should be doing. Jesus calls us to remember his goodness to us and respond to others from that point of revelation.
The Apostle Paul also knows how dangerous evil speech is for those wanting a relationship with Christ, so he tells believers, “Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Eph 4:31-32). So, let’s be mindful to carefully choose what we say and how we treat others.
1 Peter 2:1-3 NLV Food for Christians
1 Put out of your life hate and lying. Do not pretend to be someone you are not. Do not always want something someone else has. Do not say bad things about other people. 2 As new babies want milk, you should want to drink the pure milk which is God’s Word so you will grow up [become mature] and be saved from the punishment of sin [God’s Wrath]. 3 If you have tasted of the Lord, you know how good He is.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the truth we clearly understand from your Word, today. Holy Spirit, please convict us every time we fail to honor others with our words or actions. Please don’t let us become hypocrites who speak evil and dishonor the mercy you have granted to us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.