In today’s sermon from 1 Samuel 18 & 19, Saul is in conflict with David and is not interested in restoration. Is this proper behavior for a Christian? The simple answer this question is no. Christians should never live in conflict or anger with other Christians. I want to call us as a church to never be OK with slander, gossip, and division. This reality is so clear in the pages of the Bible. Jesus tells us that if we are angry with another Christian, we are liable to judgment, and if we speak ill of our brother, we are liable to the hell of fire (Matt. 5:21-22). Jesus applies that to us by commanding us to always seek restoration with our brother if he or she has something against us (Matt. 5:23-26).
Later in Matthew, we also read Jesus commanding us to go to our brother if they sin against us with the goal of restoration (Matt. 18:15-20). If we decide to gossip about someone or tell other people what sin they committed rather than going to them in love for the sake of restoration, we are rejecting the words of Jesus and living in rebellion against God. James commands Christians to not speak against one another, because if we sit in judgment against our brother we are not doing the law. We read in Proverbs 10:18, “He who conceals hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool.” A mark of a true Christians is not anger and conflict but love, encouragement, and compassion. Slander, gossip, and anger are marks of unbelievers, but we must put these things to death since these sins are placed in the Bible to describe haters of God (Rom. 1:29-31). To read more on conflict with Christians as well as slander and gossip read 2 Cor. 12:20, Eph. 4:31, Col. 3:8, 1 Pet. 2:1ff, Lev. 19:16, Titus 3:1-2, Matt. 5:11 below.
2 Corinthians 12:20 (ESV) — 20 For I fear that perhaps when I come I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish—that perhaps there may be quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder.
Ephesians 4:31 (ESV) — 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Colossians 3:8 (ESV) — 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth.
1 Peter 2:1–3 (ESV) — 1 So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. 2 Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— 3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.
Leviticus 19:16 (ESV) — 16 You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.
Titus 3:1–2 (ESV) — 1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
Matthew 5:11 (ESV) — 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.
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