William Andrew Dillard
As a noun, “Boomerang” is a curved piece of wood that returns to the thrower when thrown. As a verb, it denotes the return of most anything to the originator, often negatively. A verbal broad brush tends to verbally paint the character of one into a perceived camp that is not good. David and Solomon address these matters of life preserved as the Word of God. Let them be heard!
Many are the times that one will hear the character of someone verbally painted into the same room as outright heretics because of some viewpoint not shared by the evaluator. Such swipes of the broad brush often go far to diminish the usefulness of another. It is a evil thing that Satan capitalizes upon, and one that will bring the unbending judgment of God in the day when all shall give account to Him. Then let there be understanding of just how evil this sin is.
Solomon repeatedly said, “There is an evil which I have seen under the sun, and it is common among men.” Ecc. 6:1; 10:18. He said, “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.” Prov. 26:27.
The straightforward advice of David is, “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” Psalm 34:14. In Psalm 50:19-20, he went on to say, “Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speakest against thy brother; thou slanderest thine own mother’s son.”
In New Testament terms, broad brush actions are called “diablos,” of the devil. That word is translated “Slander” in I Timothy 3:11.
It is so easy to speak ill of another, yet so impossible to take those words back. Words one thinks to be his own are never under his control once shared. They take on a life with various skewing in the mind of so many who hear them repeated. Verbal broad-brushing may be likened to a robbery. Later, one may apologize for it, but it never erases the initial action.
Does this mean that anything negative should never be said about someone? Certainly not! God’s people have an obligation to know them who labor among them. Often much trouble could have been avoided if the truth about someone would have been passed on appropriately. But the bottom line is that such information should be handled very carefully. Too much of the time judgments are made simply because views may be out of the range of another’s knowledge or out of a feeling that the person so painted deserves it (judging). The latter here is broad-brushing, not the former.
In the course of life one will find that the person most highly appreciated tends to think a little differently. So, in all things let the truth be spoken, and if one cannot or is not willing to stand by it, then those words are much better off unspoken.
Boomerangs may be indigenous to Australia, but the verbal broad brush is not, and it will most certainly boomerang.