Ray Donovan was the Secretary of Labor under President Reagan. His time in office was marked by a highly publicized case in which Donovan and six others were tried in New York on charges of larceny and fraud. Donovan and the six other defendants were acquitted. However, at the conclusion of the trial, Donovan pointed out a lingering problem when he famously asked, “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?”
Proverbs 22:1 says: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches.” In light of this, let’s all guard ourselves against the sin of slander. Some of the Bible’s great characters were slanderously accused: Joseph (Genesis 39:7-20); David (2 Samuel 10:1-3); Stephen (Acts 6:8-14); Paul (Acts 24:5-6); and, of course, Jesus (Matthew 11:19, Matthew 26:59-68). Even though these men were all innocent of the accusations leveled against them, much damage was done to their reputations.
God’s word certainly allows for the proper prosecution of criminals. It also allows for legitimate criticism. What I’m saying is that we must be careful when we enter into this mine-field. Once a person’s reputation is destroyed, there is no office where he or she can reclaim it. Proverbs 11:9 says: “The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor.” You see, there is incredible power in the tongue (Proverbs 18:21; James 3:1-12). So make sure that you use yours discreetly and truthfully.