The Damage We Can Do


Psalm 19V14 B&WI want to believe that Brett Kavanaugh is innocent of the sexual assault charges leveled against him. I’m not sure what you want to believe about them, through I reckon your leanings largely depend on your political convictions. As do mine. To honor the Lord in this matter, however, we should set our political agendas aside and pray that the truth would come out.

The fact is, neither you nor I were there on either occasion. We can’t condemn him, nor can we exonerate him. We weren’t there, folks! We have no way of knowing what happened. We can only agree that if he’s guilty, he certainly shouldn’t serve on the Supreme Court.

But what if he’s innocent? What if these women operate from faulty memories or political motivations? As Christians, we must be as willing to give Kavanaugh the benefit of the doubt as we are to give it to his accusers. For us, the stakes extend far beyond whether or not he serves on the Supreme Court. His accusers could totally destroy him merely by making their allegations.

Even if he’s innocent, I suspect his career is over. Already, Harvard Law School students have demanded that he not be allowed to teach there. I seriously wonder if he’ll be able to serve as a justice in any capacity. Two women, whether they’ve told the truth or not, may have destroyed his entire life.

This situation should sober us as Christians. It should confront us with our responsibility to use our words wisely and carefully.

Of course I deny the false teaching that we can use our words to alter reality. The power of the tongue doesn’t mean that we can “speak” health or wealth into existence. Yet our tongues do have enormous power. Power that ought to fill us with fear and trembling.

For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body. If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. ~~James 3:2-8 (ESV)

With mere words,  spoken in certain circumstances, we can completely ruin another person’s reputation, marriage, career or life. Sometimes it’s necessary to tell the truth regardless of the consequences to others. But when we do so, let’s be sure that we report facts accurately and that we have very good reason for saying anything at all.

The Kavanaugh situation should teach us the importance of our words. God indeed will judge us for every careless word we speak, write or type (Matthew 12:36-37).

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4 thoughts on “The Damage We Can Do

    • The women accusing Kavanaugh may be telling the truth — we don’t know. I hope my article didn’t come across as dismissive of women who come forward to report sexual assault. Violence against women is a very serious sin, and allegations must never be taken lightly. While I stand by my premise that we must be extremely careful when we use our words to accuse others, I pray I didn’t imply that women shouldn’t speak up when they really are violated.

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