Backbiting is prevalent in today’s churches. But all social groups are its target, including families. It employs gossip, strife, manipulation, offense, lies, slander, and other forms of demonic strongholds in order to keep its position.
It’s no surprise that many Christians today have settled into a fairy tale existence. Lukewarm Christianity is found somewhere in every denomination. Followers do and say what they think is good, while ignoring the Word or words of Christ. Anyone speaking the truth in love is fair game for these tepid observers who use backbiting in order to maintain dominance.
James 1:26 If a person thinks that he is religious but can’t control his tongue, he is fooling himself. That person’s religion is worthless.
What happens when a new Christian, on fire for the Lord and intent on keeping firm to the gospel, enters in is unmistakable. Those who have settled into a traditional routine are now shaken to the core. Like a band of chickens who pick on the newcomer they surround and flatter until the unsuspecting Christian submits to their authority or leaves because of backbiting gossip.
Christ is not pleased with backbiting in any form. He suffered at the hands of backbiting Pharisees and Sadducees. They gathered around him to peck His Words to pieces. This has not changed in over two thousand years.
Like animals vying for dominance, backbiters refuse to work together but insist on complete control. If control is not obtainable, a host of backbiting will use coercion and other strongholds to maintain position. Worst, a host of a stronghold of backbiting will do everything in his or her power to kill the truth from infiltrating.
What can be done to avoid and recognize this stronghold?
1. Avoid gossip. It’s hard in today’s world, but gossip is a hotbed for backbiting. Avoid it or cut it short at all costs.
Ephesians 4:31-32 Make a clean break with all cutting, backbiting, profane talk. Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
2. Never allow slander to leave your lips. If you are not sure of something it’s better left unsaid. Wisely discus what you hear with the person being slandered. Not with others who may carry on slanderous news.
Romans 16:17-18 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them. 18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
3. The first and greatest commandment is love. If you are speaking, speak with love, never in anger. If you are doing something, do it in love, never with envy, jealousy, arrogance, haughtiness, or hate.
Proverbs 25:23 The north wind brings forth rain; so does a backbiting tongue bring forth an angry countenance.
2 Corinthians 12:20 For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:
4. Get to know the truth of the Word and speak the truth in love.
John 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
5. Face backbiters with few, but Biblically wise words. It can be the toughest challenge you face as a Christian. But if you are in the presence of a backbiter, there is not much you can do except stand your ground and allow God to act on your behalf.
Proverbs 14:3 Because of a stubborn fool’s words a whip is lifted against him, but wise people are protected by their speech.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few. A backbiter’s end is in his or her own mouth.
Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Written by Christian author, Pola Muzyka.