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Neither Hate Nor Slander

Proverbs 10:18 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
18 He who conceals hatred has lying lips,
    and he who utters slander is a fool.

He who conceals hatred has lying lips: Here (Heb. mekasseh) conceals has the sense of one hiding concealing or covering one’s true feeling about another. This one is concealing, keeping information, knowledge of his true feelings from another, though he knows and understands his true feelings himself. Hatred (Heb. sinah), malice, is an emotion of a very strong intense feeling of dislike, with additional feelings of hostility toward another, and actions of opposition. The lying lips belong to one who deceives another with misleading utterly false information about his true feelings of hatred, which causes the other to arrive at a mistaken belief that all is well. This is a person that could care less about the destruction the lies in the wake of his deception. The distortion of the truth is this one’s means of making the world mold to his perception of things.

and he who utters slander is a fool: Here, the Hebrew word rendered slander (dibbah) is referring to one who uses abusive words that are falsely spoken in order to damage the reputation of another so others will think less of this hated one. The foolishness of the fool (Heb. kesil), who has the trait of acting stupidly or rashly because he is devoid of wisdom or understanding.

Proverbs 10:18 has no contrasting parallelism. As we have seen thus far many of the proverbs have had a contrast from one line to the next so as to make what is right and wise. Proverbs 10:18, on the other hand, has two lines that have a similar message, with the second line merely reinforcing the first. When combined they offer us insight into how God views things and help us along the path of life.

The first line reads, “He who conceals hatred has lying lips.” This is a simple basic truth. If a man who possesses hatred in his heart for another, an emotion of a very strong intense feeling of dislike, yet he conceals, covering his true feeling about his hating the person with flattery, this is really deceit. Just as a person putting on some false front, he has lying lips. – Proverbs 26:24.

Some persons follow the course of the second line of action as opposed to concealing hate, they foolishly “utter slander.” Their very strong intense feeling of dislike or hatred moves them to attempt harm by making false allegations or disparaging comments, which are intended to cause others to think less of the hated one. Yes, foolish, indeed. The slanderous accusations are not going to alter the reality of who this other person really is. On the contrary, it is only going to openly display what the slanderer is. Those who know both persons will merely think less of the one making the false slanderous accusations. Therefore, instead of causing the other person harm, the foolish slanderer only hurts himself in the end.

The right course of action is to reject both of these courses of action and deal with your anger issues. God told the Israelites, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart.” (Lev. 19:17) In addition, Jesus went on to expand on that counsel, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:44-45)

It certainly is not easy to remove hatred that may have been developing over an extended period of time, but that is far wiser than stewing in hate to the point of being a hypocrite and lying or foolishly slandering another. Remember, there are six things that God hates, and one of the six is the lying tongue (lying lips). As we remove hatred or malice from our hearts, we move closer to being in the image of God.

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