March 13, 2019

Character Assassination

”And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set amoung our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the curse of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” (James 3:6)

”But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessings and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.” (James 3:8-10)

The danger of the tongue. James compares the tongue with fire because it cannot be controlled and the damage it causes cannot be reversed. And, sometimes when water is added, it spreads the fire instead of putting it out!

When I worked in the corporate world, a manager attempted to assassinate my “working” characteristics with lies about my inability to perform tasks in a male-dominated career. The manager also stated, “I was not a team player and did not like to be critized.” I confronted my manager about the accusations and he denied them. In spite of his denial, the rumor had already spread.

One of my favorite scriptures that has helped me in my career is, “whatever I so doeth, do it heartily as unto the Lord and not unto man” (Colossians 3:17). After working with this manager, I realized the importance to work as unto the Lord and not man.

I was provided an opportunity to travel to Florida to assist with deploying and upgrading a system. I believe the manager thought he was setting me up for failure, not knowing he had already been defeated.

My travel time was scheduled for three days, but was extended because of my work performance. And, one of the site managers in Florida was sending email messages to my manager’s supervisor, advising him of my good work. As a result, my assasinated character was brought back to life!

Many of us do not get an opportunity to experience life after a character assassination. Some of us only experience death because we continue to eat its fruit or bring back to life the fruit of “death”. Damaging words can leave deep wounds and scars, but it does not mean we cannot receive healing.

We live in a world where people are vicious like roaring lions that thrive on bringing others down. We do not have control of what people will say or think. However, we have control over our response.

The devil is like a thief. He comes to steal, kill, and destroy our character, but he can never destroy our spirit. Satan uses the tongue to divide relationships. John 4:4 tells us, “greater is He (God) that is within us, than he (Satan) that’s in the world.”

Proverbs gives four types of tongues:
  1. The Controlled
  2. The Caring
  3. The Conniving
  4. The Careless
The first two, should be practiced diligently to bring forth life and unity in our homes, work, and church. The Conniving and Careless tongues should be avoided at all times because they’re poisonous, and do not bring glory and honor to God.

Deborah M. Avens

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