The Ladder Part 4

Step 10 On Slander

St. John “Do not regard the feelings of a person who speaks to you about his neighbour disparagingly, but rather say to him: “Stop, brother! I fall into graver sins every day, so how can I criticize him?” In this way you will achieve two things: you will heal yourself and your neighbour with one plaster. This is one of the shortest ways to the forgiveness of sins; I mean, not to judge. “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged.” (Luke 6:37)”

*What is Slander?

-speaking evil behind someones back…

Dangerous for Two Reasons:

  1. Hypocritical “It puts on the appearance of love and is the ambassador of an unholy and unclean heart.”

James 3:9,10

  1. Attitude and Motive behind it. It is judgmental.

James 4:11,12. When we judge we make ourselves equal with God.

“In addition to the harm that has already been identified, slander is the result of being judgmental. This provokes the wrath of God. There is only one Judge and by judging others we invite judgment. Not knowing what is in another's heart we also risk being terribly wrong in our view of others, as was the case in the Biblical story of the Publican and the Pharisee.”

“Do not allow human respect to get in your way when you hear someone slandering his neighbor. Instead, say this to him, “

‘Brother, stop it! I do worse things every day, so how can I criticize him?’ You accomplish two things when you say this. You accomplish two things when you say this. You heal yourself and you heal your neighbor with the one bandage.”

Step 11 On Talkativeness and Silence

We are uncomfortable with silence in our culture. One has the ability to surround himself with noise at all times. Even good noise—spiritual lectures or music—can become a distraction to the cultivation of silence in our life. It is only through silence that we develop the ability to hear the voice of God.

St. John “He who has become aware of his sins has controlled his tongue, but a talkative person has not yet come to know himself as he should.”

-talkative is to the mouth like gluttony is to the stomach.

James 3

Matthew 12:33-37

Step 12 On Falsehood or Speaking the Truth

Lying is truly anti-God. God is truth and when we lie, we act contrary to God Himself.

--most of us probably do not outright lie but we often exaggerate or shade the truth.

--the more that we live in falsehood the more disconnected we become from the truth.

One writer comments that “the exaggerations, the excuses, the out and out lies are bad enough, but what's worse is the lack of remorse, or sense of any wrongdoing.”

Also, “The greatest spiritual danger is that every lie attacks the heart making it weaker. This makes the heart less able to fight against evil. As the heart grows weaker, it grows more confused, less able to distinguish between truth and lies.”

Truth is a major aspect of our own holiness and purity, the more truthful we become the more of God’s grace we invite in our life and become like the truth.

1 Pet. 3:10

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