Engaged in any traducing lately?
None of us likes it when we’ve been traduced, but we can be pretty casual and loosey-goosey about being a traducer!
To traduce is to speak badly of or tell lies about someone so as to damage their reputation. It’s a synonym for “slander.”
In case you need a few more examples, consider these:
defame (someone’s character), blacken someone’s name, tell lies about, speak ill/evil of, sully someone’s reputation, libel, smear, cast aspersions on, spread scandal about, besmirch, tarnish, taint; malign, vilify, disparage, denigrate, run down, slur;
Informal: badmouth, dis, trash
In this age of vitriol and apparent disgust and even hate for “those people” (liberals/conservatives, ‘conservative Christians’/everyone else, us/them) it’s become almost second nature to trash people’s character (all the definitions above) just because we have different views than they do.
Jesus’ half-brother, James – the leader of the first Christ-following church in Jerusalem, wrote this:
“Brothers and Sisters, do not slander one another.” (James 4: 11)
That’s really good advice for me…and you…don’t you think?
When we trash someone, usually the core motive is to make them look bad so that we can look good.
That’s never a good way to go!
I’ve found that it’s really helpful to ask the Holy Spirit of Christ in me to tell me how He sees that other person…how He feels about them. Boy, does that change things quickly!
All of a sudden I realize that God loves that other person just as much as He loves me! Jesus included that other person in His Finished Work at the Cross just like He included me. Jesus lives in that other person just like He lives in me (the other person may not know that yet). God wants the best for that other person and is constantly working all things out for the good for them.
In short, with God, there’s no difference between them and me!
So I want to always keep that truth in the forefront of my mind, and then do a little investigation into the other person’s life. Usually I find they have a family just like me. They have fears and doubts and worries and concerns just like me. They want the best for other people…just like me.
We just see some things differently and may have different beliefs about how to bring about the best for everyone. We both have baggage and have been dramatically affected by our past.
So, rather than slander one another, I’ve found that Jesus wants us to focus on what we have in common, seek to know and understand others, celebrate that we’re all loved by God and in His family, and then practice seeing the best in others…that’s what love does!