Praise in The Presence of The Adversary…
The issue of loshon hara (wicked speech) continues to arise lately. I have not spoken on the topic of loshon hara in a long time. I have had to wrestle with my own flesh in order to subdue this deadly, destiny destroying behavior. The temptation has been rearing its ugly head with several people lately, including myself, which tells me it’s time to address it again.
The Chofetz Chaim teaches that it is forbidden to praise someone in the presence of anyone who is known to dislike them. They are just waiting to pounce!
It opens the door for anyone listening who dislikes them, to seize an opportunity to say something negative about the persons shortcomings.
There are times when you are acutely aware that the person in question has enemies all around. There are also times when you may not know. They best course of action is to constrain your tongue, even if you want to offer praise. Why?
Because it leaves a pit for the adversary to fall into and this pit dies damage to their own soul. It’s just something that we do not want to be a party to.
The Praiseworthy Person…
The praiseworthy person can wait for you to seek a better moment in time to extend your gratitude or praise when the adversarial soul will not be in ear shot and tempted beyond their ability to resist speaking loshon hara.
So, What Do We Do About Philippians 4:8?
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Be wise. Pay attention in the moment. Be vigilant. We always need to remember that we have to know those that we labor among. Paul tells us to, “Think on these things…“, which means we can save those lovely things for another time. We do not always have to blurt out everything we think at the time.
Be aware of the atmosphere you are in at the time and be slow to speak. The right time for praise will present itself and the person to whom you would offer praise will not have to suffer their moment being snatched away by negativity, insults or another person’s pride or enmity.
Remember: loshon hara affects the souls of at least 3 people… In this case Yourself, the person you’re speaking about (or trying to praise), and the people or persons that are listening.
We are in the business of caring for souls. Let nothing come between you reaching the highest pinnacle of power in your comprehension of GOD and His Word. Especially, our own tongues.
This Book is a Masterpiece! A torahisteaching for your library must have!
If you do not own a copy, I strongly recommend it.
Thank You for Asking me about it my friend!
Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. Psalm 34:13-15
- Chofetz Chaim: seeker of life
- shmiras haloshon – guarding the tongue