As followers of Christ, we are called to live in harmony with one another, practicing love and kindness. In the pursuit of a Christ-centered life, it is crucial to understand the various behaviors and attitudes that are not in line with Christian values. One such behavior mentioned in the Bible is that of a reviler. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of revilers, shedding light on their characteristics, biblical references, and how Christians can respond to and avoid becoming revilers themselves.
The term “reviler” may not be familiar to some, but its meaning carries significant weight in the context of Christian living. A reviler is someone who speaks abusively or contemptuously about others, often engaging in slander or verbal assault. This kind of behavior is in stark contrast to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, who urged believers to treat each other with love, compassion, and mutual respect. As we delve deeper into the topic of revilers, let us keep in mind the importance of cultivating a Christ-like attitude in our relationships with others.
- Characteristics of Revilers
- Biblical References to Revilers
- How Christians Can Respond to and Avoid Becoming Revilers
Characteristics of Revilers
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Revilers exhibit a range of negative behaviors and attitudes, all of which are inconsistent with the values that Christians strive to embody. Key characteristics of revilers include:
Revilers use harsh, cruel, and offensive language when talking about others. They may engage in name-calling, ridicule, or even false accusations. The Bible condemns this kind of speech, as it is contrary to the loving and compassionate nature of Christ. Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV) reminds us, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Another defining feature of revilers is their propensity for slander. They spread false or damaging information about others, often with the intention of harming their reputation. This behavior is explicitly condemned in the Bible, as seen in Leviticus 19:16 (NKJV): “You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord.”
Malice and Contempt
Revilers also demonstrate a malicious and contemptuous attitude towards others, often harboring resentment or ill-will. This spirit of animosity is contrary to the teachings of Jesus, who called on His followers to love their neighbors as themselves (Matthew 22:39, NKJV).
Biblical References to Revilers
The Bible provides numerous references to revilers and their destructive behavior. Some of the most notable instances include:
1 Corinthians 5:11 (NKJV)
In this passage, the Apostle Paul instructs believers not to associate with those who call themselves Christians but continue to engage in ungodly behavior, including reviling. He writes, “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.”
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NKJV)
Paul also lists revilers among those who will not inherit the kingdom of God, emphasizing the severity of this sinful behavior. He states, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Psalm 15:1-3 (NKJV)
In this Psalm, David describes the characteristics of those who will dwell in the presence of the Lord. Among the qualities mentioned, he specifically notes that those who do not backbite with their tongue or do evil to their neighbors will be counted among the righteous. The passage reads, “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; he who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend.”
How Christians Can Respond to and Avoid Becoming Revilers
As believers, we are called to live in a manner that reflects the love and grace of Christ. This includes responding appropriately to revilers and ensuring that we do not become revilers ourselves. Here are some practical steps to follow:
1. Be Mindful of Our Speech
James 3:6 (NKJV) warns, “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.” To avoid becoming revilers, we must be mindful of the words we use and ensure that our speech is edifying and encouraging.
2. Practice Forgiveness
Forgiveness is a key aspect of Christian living. When faced with revilers, we must strive to forgive them and pray for their transformation. As Jesus taught in Matthew 6:14 (NKJV), “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
3. Seek Wise Counsel
If we find ourselves struggling with a tendency to revile, it is important to seek wise counsel from trusted spiritual leaders, friends, or mentors who can provide guidance and encouragement in overcoming this destructive behavior.
4. Pray for Self-Control and a Christ-like Attitude
Finally, we should continuously pray for self-control and a Christ-like attitude, asking the Holy Spirit to help us bridle our tongues and treat others with love and respect.
In conclusion, revilers are individuals who engage in abusive speech, slander, and demonstrate malice and contempt towards others. The Bible repeatedly warns against this behavior, as it is contrary to the teachings of Christ and the values that Christians are called to uphold. To avoid becoming revilers ourselves, we must remain vigilant in guarding our speech, practicing forgiveness, seeking wise counsel, and praying for a Christ-like attitude.
As believers, our ultimate goal is to grow in our relationship with Christ and to embody His love in our interactions with others. By understanding the dangers of reviling and committing to a life that reflects the love of Jesus, we can serve as a shining example of His grace and mercy in a world that desperately needs it. May we strive to live in accordance with the teachings of Scripture, so that we might be a light to those around us and bring glory to our heavenly Father.