True friends stab you in the front. Oscar Wilde
Who gossips with you will gossip of you. Irish Saying
Backstabbing falls into the category as gossip, slander or even betrayal. It definitely does not fall under the umbrella of the Golden Rule. In many respects it is worse than gossip or slander; it has at its core malicious and cowardly intent to hurt. Those that backstab have premeditated and harmful motives.
In the days where movies about the Old West were at their peak, there were certain standards, mores and codes that were part of the culture. Good guys wore white hats, bad guys wore black, a man’s horse was his friend and stealing his horse was unpardonable. At the top of the Code of the West was that if you were going to shoot someone, you did not shoot them in the back. Only cowards, men with no courage or backbone shot other men in the back. You were expected to face your adversaries head on, face to face, “mano y mano”.
Backstabbers are the lowest of the low. We should be very careful in how we associate with those who backstab others. There is something within them that is amiss. While gossip and slander are bad, backstabbing is the worst of the three. Backstabbing always carries with it willful intent to harm.
Poetic justice tells us that what goes around comes around; bad seeds we sow do come back to harm us, and we eventually get our just rewards. Our bad deeds will find us. We should look at the backstabbing of others and see it for the deplorable and despicable act it is. It is always easy to spot other’s sins and weaknesses. As much as we see these faults of others, we have to be even better at seeing it in ourselves; spotting it and recognizing it for what it is. It is black and rotten. If it is in us, it is cancerous and needs to be cut out and removed.
Verbally backstabbing someone may not be the same as sticking a knife into them, at least in the eyes of civilization and the law. However, when viewed and examined against the qualities and traits that it takes to be good and decent, it is incompatible. We should always resist the temptation. If you cannot say something nice about someone, saying nothing at all is always preferable. If we need additional motivation, always remember that backstabbers are cowards and not to be trusted.
Challenge: Doing what is right and proper is easier said than done. Resisting the temptation to engage in such things as gossip, slander and backstabbing is something that falls squarely on your own shoulders. You cannot blame these faults and weaknesses on anyone else, your parents or environment. Your conscience and intestinal fortitude must guide you and empower you to do what is right. Always resist the temptation to do otherwise.
Wisdom: A true friend is someone who says nice things behind your back. Author Unknown
Your tongue plots destruction; it is like a sharpened razor, you who practice deceit. Psalm 52:2
Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies. Psalm 34:13
The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Prov.4:18
Anything we say or do in interacting with others, that does not have a spirit of love at its heart, has to be suspect as to intent. If we seek the high road, seeking to be the best person we can be and living life with meaning and purpose; then things such as gossip, slander and backstabbing should not be something we do. In our own strength, this is hard to do. God is there to help us. If we ask he will enable us and give the strength we need.
Prayer: Help me to learn to love. Give me the strength to overcome the weaknesses and shortcomings in me.