Mat 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. (12) Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Reviler is the biblical word for an abuser. Other words are used in Scripture to describe the evil that abusers do, but this title “reviler” gets to the heart of it. You see that little root in the word – “vil” – which reminds us of related terms like “villain,” or “villify” or, hmmm…. “vile.” A reviler is vile. Anyway, what a reviler does is to make the innocent be the villain. And they do this by accusing. Revilers are accusers and that evil is part of the very nature of the devil himself:
Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
I have known revilers and so have most all of you. The ones I have known are those who parade as Christians. They were church members and most often they put themselves off as the most pious and holy saints to be found anywhere.
Reviling is in the reviler’s nature. It proceeds from the devilish heart that defines who they are. They don’t have to really even plan the reviling attack – it just spews out of their mouth from their heart. The attack comes as we say “out of the blue.” Things can be going along quite pleasantly – some dinner or other church event, some gathering of friends – and then here comes the arrow. Sometimes in secret, sometimes in front of everyone.
- I remember when you said I was to blame
- You had no right to spend that money
- I think you sinned when you told Jack to stop being mean to his wife
- I know why you are taking that college class
- I know why you bought that car
- You are a very hard person to talk to
- You didn’t come and visit me when I was sick
And on and on and on the list could go. Every single one of these statements is used by the reviler to accuse. To blame. To guilt and to attack.
Think about what this business of reviling requires. Most of us would be very hesitant to say such a thing, even if it were true. We season our speech. Of course the abuser counts on this and uses our hesitancy against us, knowing that we most often won’t expose his evil by speaking of it. But the reviler enjoys reviling. It gives him a rush of power and he loves it. He loves to see the hurt that his words inflict. He assaults with his speech and he loves to launch those arrows.
This is why the Lord says that a reviler will never see the kingdom of God. Revilers are going to hell along with their father the devil. Perhaps in the lake of fire for all eternity they will be reviling one another and trying to put the blame anywhere but upon themselves.
Don’t try to fix a reviler. You will only find grief for yourself and your efforts to “help” will be regarded by him as a weak spot for him to reviler you further.