2 Timothy 3:1-3 (NKJ)
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money…unloving, unforgiving, SLANDERERS, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good
Why is slander on the rise?
1) It is easy. We live in an age when everybody can be a critic and hide behind anonymity, or “anonymosity” as my wife calls it (that’s anonymous animosity, in case you were wondering).
Have you ever used the Internet to write a review about a book, movie, or restaurant? Have you ever used social media to comment on a sports game, church service or politics? I have written reviews and I have checked the reviews of other people who are complete strangers to me. In search for reliable information, I have found that much of it is unhelpful and constitutes “noise”. In the end, I have to make up my own mind and sometimes just give something a try. We are drowning under a tidal wave of uninformed information.
2) Slanderous people have an inflated sense of their self-importance.
I believe everyone is important in some way to God and to the people they’re called to influence. But influence through criticism is the least effective form of influence. No monument has ever been built to a critic. Monuments have been built to people who ignored their critics!
People feel important when they criticize somebody important. In reality, their opinion will not change a thing. Their criticism has no power to alter the state of things, the course of history or the nature of the world. Criticism is the weakest tool in the box of human experience.
When someone succeeds or stands out, people with big egos will become jealous and start criticizing. God has called them to be productive, but they waste their time being critical. History forgets the critics and remembers only those who persevere through criticism.
My 6 tips on how to handle criticism:
1) In an age when everybody has something to say, it’s important to remember that not everyone’s opinion is equally appropriate or relevant.
2) If you are an expert with proven experience, tempered personality, seasoned wisdom and recognized maturity, some people may listen to your constructive criticism in your field of expertise.
3) If you are not such a qualified expert, but you tend to be critical, you are engaging in the sin of slander. People will lose their trust in you.
4) If you have nothing nice or constructive to say, it may be best to keep quiet, you will appear wiser.
5) History forgets critics. So should you (unless your critic is an expert who has your interest at heart).
6) A godly man or woman never slanders.
Leviticus 19:16 (NIV) says “Do not go about spreading slander among your people…”