“But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.”
“Blasphemy” is the fourth sin to put off like a dirty shirt.
“Blasphemy” is slander, to revile, to defame, to blaspheme, to revile. This term here means to speak ill of someone and hurt their name and reputation. It means to speak against someone in such a way as to harm or injure their reputation. It can mean to speak evil of God or man.
“Blasphemy” may take the form of slander, or it may simply be gossip. We invariably think of blasphemy as taking God’s name in vain, but in this context, it means to speak evil of God’s people. We are not to slander one another as we would not blaspheme God.
Slander is to utilize reviling words, to calumniate. It abuses people by destroying their good name. Slander loves to defame and insult.
“No one should defame another” Titus 3.2
“And not as I have been reviled” Romans 3:8
“For the name of God is reviled by the Gentiles because of you” Romans 2.24
“Those who went along reviled him” Matthew 27.39
“False witness, reviling” Matthew 15.19
Slander is a form of blasphemy.
When we attack the character of someone, it is a parallel principle to blasphemy. Blasphemy is an attack on the character of God. Slander is an attack on other people.
Our darker side loves to whisper things about other people. We like to talk about their faults and frailties. It makes no difference whether what we say is true or not. When we destroy the reputation of other people, it is the sin of slander. Slander is the desire to detract from the success or strength of others.
Do you pass on uninformed, second-hand, unauthorized, unproved, invalidated information about people? You do not know whether it is true or false, but you pass it along as if it were fact. Are you sure of the information you are passing on? Do you know it for a fact? Would you put it in writing?
We are willing to pass on choice morsels of gossip even though we do not know for sure whether these things are true or not. If we peddle false information, people will get our number. A dog who will bring a bone will take a bone. People will soon realize that if you gossip about others, you will gossip about them too. “If that is how she talks about her, she will probably talk that way about me as well.”
There is a tendency to downgrade people we envy. We are not as gifted as they are, so we lower them to bring them to our level by saying derogatory things about them. We love to make less of them to others who respect them.
It is the favorite indoor sport today to diminish Christian workers. It is open season on Christian workers by Christians themselves.
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth;
Keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).
Once evil words go out, we cannot bring them back. Who knows where they will go? You may straighten this out with the Lord, but there is no way we can retrieve what we have said. It is like breaking open a feather pillow and letting the feathers go to the winds. There is no way to gather them back again. We will account for every word we speak, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment” (Mt 12:36).