Religion Magazine

The Power And Sins Of Speech

By Ldsapologetics
From wikipedia I give you a definition of a term I will shortly dive into.
"The Hebrew term lashon hara (or loshon hora) (Hebrew לשון הרע; "evil tongue") is the halakhic term for derogatory speech about another person.[1] Lashon hara differs from defamation in that its focus is on the use of true speech for a wrongful purpose, rather than falsehood and harm arising. By contrast, hotzaat shem ra ("spreading a bad name"), also called hotzaat diba, consists of untrue remarks, and is best translated as "slander" or "defamation". Hotzaat shem ra is worse, and consequentially a graver sin, than lashon hara.[1]
The act of gossiping is called rechilut, and is also forbidden by Jewish law.[1]
Speech is considered to be lashon hara if it says something negative about a person or party, is not previously known to the public, is not seriously intended to correct or improve a negative situation, and is true. Statements that fit this description are considered to be lashon hara, regardless of the method of communication that is used, whether it is through face-to-face conversation, a letter, telephone, or email.
The sin of lashon hara is considered to be a very serious sin in the Jewish tradition."
Jesus says that it is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, it is what comes out.  So for however much breaking the word of wisdom is supposed to defile you, what you say will defile you.
19 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?
20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man.
21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Mark 7:19-23
In Lashon Hara the intention may not be to inflict harm, but like a drunk driver heading home in his car instead of a cab by acting recklessly great harm will come to be.  
Jesus is also saying that out of a good heart comes good but out of a evil heart comes evil.
It's a "by their fruits shall ye know them" sort of idea.  If you notice a friend always has something negative to say about others you can be sure when you're not around they're talking about you in the same way.
This is why this sin in-particular is compared to leprosy.  And also because Moses's sister was struck with leprosy for a few days because she murmured against him.
But this is a contagious sin because upon hearing you to one level or another engage in it.  You can decide to do the right thing and confront the principal lashon hara sinner, but you have been exposed.
This too is a disease of numbness, being that you become numbed to the weight of the words you say or to the sting the deep cuts of the words.  You become a spiritual leper and not only is your soul numb but it becomes disfigured by the sin.
You can build people up by your words alone or you can tear them down.
We've all been on he recieving end of lashon hara or hozaat shem ra so we all know the hurt and devistation words, true or not, can cause.
But how many of us have been raised up and built up by words?
In these current winter Olympics in Sochi there was a figure skater from the U.S. landed on his side and nearly broke his hip yet as he laid on the ice wondering if he would or could continue the Russian audience cheered him on and on as he slowly picked himself up off the ice and they continued to cheer and cheer as he finished his routine and by the time he was finished the audience was on their feet giving him a standing ovation for simply continuing after sustaining such an injury.  His name was Jeremy Abbott.
And cliche as it may sound here Dr.King and Gandhi built up the self esteem of their oppressed people and an oppressed nation in Gandhi's case.  With every speech telling them how valuable they are, how they were made to persevere and these words allowed these men and women from two different countries and continents to take beating after beating and false arrest and the kangaroo courts that followed only to sing in their jail cells knowing they had won.  And their jailers knew they had lost.
So while it is true that there are names for sins of speech and yet no real names or titles for speech that build people up the point stands that one can do one of two things; either build people up or tear them down.
Many of Gandhi's actions have been forgotten but his words remain in the memory of so many building up generation after generation of people, without Gandhi we would not have Dr.King whose words also have built up generation after generation.
But Jesus who never held a public office, was never ruler or magistrate over any land, who never wrote a book or play, still spoke to people in such a way that he changed the history of the world and almost single-handedly.
The words of Jesus, the words of God, those words build up and inspire people.  Those words cause people to turn over a new leaf and "Go and sin no more."  Those words turn sinners into saints.
Those words as ancient as they may be still have the power to save even the most wayward of the flock.  I know because those words have saved me.

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