“He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.” Proverbs 10:18
Once again, the word of truth fully opposes our normal sense of reality. Our perception usually runs like this:
“I can’t stand this person. He annoys me; he makes foolish decisions; he offends me. But he will never know it because I will never tell him.”
“This person is a complete idiot. I’m going to tell my friends what an idiot this person is.”
In both cases, our perception is that the object of our disdain is a fool. Our perception, of course, is wrong. The fool is actually the person in the mirror. The slanderer and the hypocrite are the real fools. Why is this so?
James says that this is the case because when we curse men who are made in the likeness of God, it is equitable to cursing God.
Matthew says that this is so because our worship is hindered when we have unresolved hatred in our hearts.
Matthew also says that hatred in the heart is no different than murder.
Jesus reveals that most likely the obvious speck in your brother’s eye is much smaller than the beam in your own eye.
Jesus constantly condemned hypocrisy.
John says that it is impossible to love an unseen God and hate the brother you have seen.
Don’t be a fool. Resolve to practice the hard but ultimately satisfying work of forgiveness. Make a point to speak true and edifying words. Read I Corinthians 13 and examine your words in light of God’s revelation about charity. Look in the mirror of God’s words and see your own faults. The faults of your brother will be insignificant in comparison. Yet, God has forgiven and cleansed you in Christ. Let this reality make an imprint on your interaction with others.