Let’s be honest (as we always should be anyway). As Christians good works are often hard, sometimes harder than others. What’s even harder than good works is a hot cup of zeal in your heart, the sort of first love affections that yield the fruit of the first kinds of good works (think Christ’s message to the Ephesians in Revelation 2:4-5).
There are a number of Scriptural ways to examine our works, to make sure that they are spiritual and that they glorify our Father in heaven, not just our names on earth. One way we get a good sense that our works are truly good is when others lie about us.
This is a level of blessing that not everyone is ready for, or even wants. But it is the right thing.
Jesus topped off all the blesseds in His sermon with this:
“Blessed are you when others revile and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matthew 5:11)
Peter heard Jesus sermon, and later wrote to his beloved:
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. (1 Peter 4:14)
Earlier in his letter Peter exhorted them,
Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation. (1 Peter 2:12)
In Revelation 2:8-11 the Christians in Smyrna were slandered, and yet the lies against them couldn’t touch their spiritual riches.
So, Christian, don’t you speak falsely. And also, Christian, be ready to be insulted and misrepresented and falsely accused. Not only can you not guarantee that everyone will speak truthfully about you, your good works should be so obvious that they’ll have to lie about you to criticize your works.
Avoiding drama doesn’t mean we never say tough things, it means we don’t add theatrics. It also means that we say tough things to the person, not about the person. Being kind to someone’s face doesn’t always equal love, and saying difficult things to someone’s face doesn’t always equal not love.
On the other hand, whisperers are invariably haters. They talk a love game in certain settings but, as Proverbs 26:23-28 describes, they are hiding an evil heart and harboring deceit. It is never loving or kind to whisper; it is dishonest, insincere, two-faced talk. Whisperers, quarrelers, deceivers, and haters are destroyers.
The whisperers in Proverbs 26:20-22 are fools. Of course, the entire book of Proverbs identifies the contrast between wisdom and foolishness, and a man’s speech tells on him. Wise men quiet contention; fools start fires. Fools whisper and start fights. Fools take a bad situation and stir it up. Other fools listen to and eat up drama.
While these related proverbs comment on the effect or results of drama, the apostle Paul reveals the cause of drama. Whispering and fighting are works of the flesh.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. (Galatians 5:19-20)
Some of these sins fly under the banner of drama. The point is, drama–especially drama in whispers–starts in the heart. These sins are also a sign of God’s abandoning men to their unrighteousness.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. (Romans 1:28-31)
It’s no wonder tongues cause such turmoil since “the tongue stains the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell” (James 3:6). We inflame and sustain fire with our mouths, because our tongues are hellish. It may not be a surprise, but it is no less wrong.
Spirit-filled Christians should not whisper or quarrel. Drama is fleshly. Galatians 5 says that if we walk in the Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of the flesh. We will stop the drama. Those who increase drama, therefore, are those not walking in the Spirit.
This has application for everyone, but young ladies appear especially susceptible to being busybodies, buttinskies, and backbiters.
But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. (1 Timothy 5:11-15)
Apparently because they don’t have enough to do and aren’t looking for responsibility, they go about writing on other’s Facebook walls, text messaging, and getting each other in corners to talk about what Miss So-and-so did. But the devil watches young women. He takes their drama and uses it to slander Christ. Ladies must keep their tongues from wagging after Satan.
With every response we show what is important, either drama, or the Lord. We’ve got to guard our hearts, guard our lips, and guard our ears. Especially for leaders, those who typically know more information about others, and those on whom more eyes and ears concentrate, drama must not be entertained or tolerated in our reactions. We need to make disciples, not drama.