by Brandy Webb
I have a friend that tries to live his life by the motto, “Speak evil of no one. Speak good of everyone.” It is a very good motto to go by, and it is also Godly. Paul tells Titus, “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men” (Titus 3:1-2, emphasis mine).
What I really find interesting in these Scriptures is that Paul tells Titus to remind God’s people to speak evil of no one after he tells them to listen to those who are in authority. He is not meaning those who are in authority in God’s church; he is meaning worldly authority. In verse 3, Paul points out that we can’t speak evil of these people because we were once “foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another” before we were called. Therefore, we cannot judge others and speak ill of them because we were once one of them, and the only reason we know differently is because of God the Father, not because we are smarter.
Now, we are not to speak evil against others within the ecclesia also, but I wanted to point out the emphasis here is showing we aren’t to speak evil of anyone even those outside the ecclesia. We live in a world that is full of people that love gossip, contentions, and strife. However, we are not to be like them, and I realized that if we, as Christians, fully strived to never speak evil of anyone, those on the outside would find it hard to have something to say against us.
Refraining from evil speaking will set us apart. Just look around you; evil speaking is everywhere. Speaking ill of someone is the norm. It’s what the news thrives on, especially for ratings. It is all over social media. It is how people let out their frustrations. Yet, it should not be found in the ecclesia.
We are to live “such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse [us] of doing wrong, they may see [our] good deeds and glorify God on the day He visits us” (1 Peter 2:12). One good deed is to not speak evil of anyone, but to speak well of others.
I know it isn’t easy. Sometimes my carnal flesh really comes out of my mouth. There are many times that I have been ashamed of the things that I have said, and I have had to repent for them. I think that is why this scripture in Titus really struck home with me. This is the season of reflection. The season of removing sin out of our lives, and ill-speaking of others is a sin. I must strive to purge out the old leaven, so that I can be a new lump. For this is why “Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth” (1 Corinthians 5:7-8). So, let us remove the sin of evil speaking of others as we continue to strive to walk on the path of righteousness.