I flipped on the TV, after being gone 48 hours, catching up on local news. A man speaking to a woman at the news desk... "The devastation that occurs in minutes, sometimes seconds is unbelievable, terrible and haunting. Communities and families left forever changed, often times never being fully restored."
My initial thought was someone's reputation and character, attacked by gossip, tongue wagging, lies, whisper campaigns and the damage left in the wake. Often, those who participate are bystanders, with nothing to lose or gain. It's simply entertainment to them. What they fail to realize is the evil that was born elsewhere is now theirs to grow, if they choose to. It becomes their reputation that will feed it, give it new life. Life that is evil all the same. This becomes part of who they are... they have much to lose.
I realized the newsman was talking about tornadoes and the storms that occur before them! Maybe the politics none of us can escape at the moment, or the friends I have watched walk through this fire took me to reputations and character sabotage. Or myself or a loved one... who of us has not been affected, scarred by someone's evil words at some point?
My belief has always been... The cream rises to the top, the tough survive, the truth comes out, people are restored. I do believe this is mostly true and yet we have all watched friends hurt, with far reaching damage. So what are we to do? What do we believe, cling to and how do we react when we watch this or live this?
What does God tell us about Who He is, how He feels about gossip and slander and what He will do?
But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36
Good people obtain favor from the Lord,
but he condemns those who devise wicked schemes. Proverbs 12:22
To slander no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. Titus 3:2
Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Matthew 5:11
Then He tells us how He feels about us and what He promises us.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you. Psalm 32:8
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
I could write His scriptures for days... after all His word is declaration to us of His Love, His restoration of His people, those who claim Him as Savior, Mighty Counselor, Lover of our souls.
He tells us not to worry, but pray. To be peaceful and gentle with others, to be careful of our words, that His favor will be upon us. His FAVOR. Seek that every day friends.
He tells us to ask! We will receive joy! He will counsel us, instruct us as His eye (and favor) is upon us. Pray. Then pray some more. Pray again.
He, Mighty God, takes delight in us. He sings over us, rejoicing. Did you catch that?!
Where do we live after lifting Truth high? Are we still upset and worried by slander from someone who lives in darkness? Truly, anyone who takes part in this evil lives in darkness... but we live in the light. Let's grab the light of God and represent Him today, recognizing as we speak... we speak for Him and claim His reputation. What will that reputation be?