Christ in my Speech
Category : General
Titus 3:2 (KJV)
2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
It is said, Calumny and evil-speaking has been a reigning vice in all ages, and a greater guilt is contracted by it than men apprehend; every man ought to be as just to his neighbor’s reputation as his own.
Here Paul lays down the method of maintaining peace and friendship with all men. We know that there is nothing to which the disposition of every man is more prone than to despise others in comparison of himself. The consequence is, that many are proud of the gifts of God; and this is accompanied by contempt for their brethren, which is immediately followed by insult.
In this verse and in Titus 3:1, there are listed some basic requirements of Christian character; and, on first thought, some might classify all of them as “old-fashioned.” On the contrary, none of these virtues had ever been heard of, either in Crete or in the whole pagan world. “These things here charged by Paul were new virtues to men. They were held up to admiration by no heathen moralist.” Moreover, such virtues were even scorned and made light of by many pagan writers. In a sense, they are still new, because the newest, freshest, cleanest thing on earth is a Christian soul which truly exhibits them; and when such an exhibition appears, no desert flower after a shower ever bloomed with sweeter charm and fragrance than that of such a Christian personality.
Therefore the idea conveyed here is, that we are not to slander, revile, or defame anyone. We are not to say anything to anyone, or of anyone, which will do him injury. We are never to utter anything which we know to be false about him or to give such a coloring to his words or conduct as to do him wrong in any way. We should always so speak to him and of him in such a way that he will have no reason to complain that he is an injured man. It may be necessary, when we are called to state what we know of his character, to say things which are not at all in his favor, or things which he has said or done that were wrong; but, we should never do this for the purpose of doing him injury, or so as to find a pleasure in it; and, where it is necessary to make the statement, it should be so as to do him no injustice.
Moreover, we should give no improper coloring. We should exaggerate no circumstances. We should never attempt to express ourselves about others motives, or charge on them bad motives for we know not what their motives were. We should state every palliating circumstance of which we have knowledge, and do entire justice to it. We should not make the bad traits of anyone character prominent, and pass over all that is good. In essence, we should show that we would rather find them to be a good than evil even if the result should be that we had been mistaken in our opinions. It is better that we should have been mistaken. Paul exhortation is chiefly a condemnation of backbiting and to resist the propensity to slander.
Have a great and God filled day!