Summary: Back biting is the stealth bomber of the unholy armed forces because the attack always comes when your back is turned...

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Many unfortunate things happen in many churches around the world, simply because people are people. There are the unattractive things Christians do, which ultimately result in the dismembering of the body of Christ. They are the sins we commit, which drive people away from the church where people are supposed to encounter God and be healed.

Many unfortunate things happen in many churches, but among the ugliest and most destructive of these are the three unfortunate events we’ve focused on in the past few weeks:

Hypocrisy: the practice of professing beliefs, feelings or virtues that we don’t really have.

Mediocrity: the state of being moderate to inferior in quality in our spiritual lives: ordinary, powerless, religious people. Satisfied with the status-quos Christian lifestyle. (It’s not meant to be.)

And finally, today’s unfortunate event: the third of the uglies, which is called Back Biting…

If Satan has an arsenal of weapons, back biting is among the weapons in his secret artillery. It’s the stealth bomber of the unholy armed forces because the attack always comes when your back is turned. Back biting is the coward’s approach to problem solving. See, back biters are afraid of confrontation, so they would rather attack from behind than obey God’s Word and approach from the front because they want to avoid detection. They have this costume they wear in public, so they seem as innocent as this little baby, but like this child, their teeth are deadly.

In a church we attended, I knew a woman on the church staff who seemed so sweet to everyone in their faces, but as soon as they turned their back, she had something nasty to say about them. She was so good at making everyone think she liked them, but I was surprised by some of the remarks she had for them when they weren’t listening, and you know, it made me wonder what she was saying about me when I wasn’t around.

Back biting occurs when somebody goes behind another person’s back and says bad things, or spread rumors about them to destroy their character.

Back biters are good at pretending they love everyone, but deep inside, they are vicious toward other people. They tear people apart with their words. As the book of James says, “The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

Nowhere is this more true than in the mouth of a back biter… They are ruthless with their words and they have not learned to tame their tongues, and the result of their words is destruction.

Unfortunately, pastors and churches are the constant victims of back biting. All it takes is one hard to please person to complain behind the pastor’s back and the whole church can become discontented. People leave churches all the time because of things they’ve heard or said about the pastor. They church shop and church hop and no one benefits from it. The end result of saying bad things behind each other’s backs is always detrimental to the church. Jesus said, "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” Matt 12:30

Are you building up the body of Christ with your words, or tearing it down?

"He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.”

We can be just as much enemies of Jesus with our mouths as we can with our actions. Words are very powerful in the building up or tearing down of the body of Christ, His church.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Prov 18:21



That’s why Jesus is so disgusted by bad-mouthing.

In Matthew 12:34-37 Jesus said, “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him.

But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. [That’s a promise from Jesus Christ. All of His promises are yea and what? Amen!] For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned." Don’t be caught up in the snare of bad mouthing.

Jesus is saying if you have evil flowing out from your mouth, then that evil is welling up from inside your heart. Your heart is the source of what comes out of your mouth, and therefore whatever we say is an indication of what lies deep in our hearts.

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Thomas Wilson

commented on Sep 15, 2006

Excellently put together and very thought provoking. There are aspects of this, that I wouldn't mind using!

Connie Peck

commented on Nov 11, 2006

God-control of our tongue is the most difficult issue I think we face as Christians. James is clear that the root of our difficulty is hell itself. You have done a great job of applying James' principles to our current culture. We must keep putting our faith in action especially in our speech. What timely exhortation.

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