Lashon Hara

Susie Med

I’ve been studying lashon hara or evil speech since I found out how Israel was afflicted in their infancy as a nation.  My initial understanding included unkind words spoken about someone in the form of gossip, but I’m learning it’s so much more.  Let’s discuss it a moment.  First of all, it must be true, not a lie or exaggeration.  It also is a fact that isn’t commonly known.  It can be spoken to the person, not just behind their back, as in gossip; and you are considered as having committed lashon hara if you listened to someone else sharing information about another.  In the Jewish culture, it is consider a grievous sin.  Other forms of negative speech falls into categories which are considered worse, but it is argued that if lashon hara is so bad, how much worse to speak with lies or exaggerations.    My son Josh and I even discussed the evil speech was use about ourselves to others (or to be ourselves up with), which I hadn’t considered as sinful before.

The idea of lashon hara has given me a whole new perspective on what I should guard my mouth from speaking, even to or about myself.  It’s making me reevaluate how I correct my children or confront my husband with my concerns.   I’m as guilty as the next person about spouting off without considering the consequences of my words.  Honestly, this is going to be a difficult road because I realize even when I diligently guard my tongue, its normal conversation with most people I know.   1 Timothy 4:16 says -

“Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.”

I never thought about it before, but guarding my speech my save another.  Lord, for this I really need Your continual intervention.

©Susy Medeski

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