Proverbs 25:18 Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.
Not everybody gets this...I have worked with people that saw themselves as good even though they didn't mind taking a chance on destroying peoples lives with lies it is so sad.
While studying the book of James I learned another truth...that can cut you to the bone if you are trying to be good...but sometimes let your mouth get the best of you. James 4:11 says this "Don't speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God's law. But your job is to obey the law , not to judge whether it applies to you. Beth Moore went on to explain "speaking evil" or "criticizing" in the original text "didn't leave us room to excuse ourselves because what we said is simple truth. To James, (Jesus' brother) if it was said critically or against another person, it was a sin."
This says to me that we just can not, must not go around talking about people!! My mother and I discussed this at length once. We asked each other "How do you talk about your problems without talking about people." We finally came down to this example: While telling my mom about a bad day at work..about how I was hurt by someone... I could do that IF I left the person's name out. Because IF I left their name out, when she came in the store she then would not have a preconceived feeling about someone based on my bad day. Then she would still be able to be kind to everyone there. Beth Moore said that we needed to talk about the "thing" not the person. If I talk about my bad day without mentioning the name of the person I would be talking about the event... as soon as I add a name I am talking about a person.
In James 2:10 we learn that a person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God's laws. So when we read Psalms 25:18 we don't need to feel all puffed because we are not telling lies on people if we are still talking about people, even if it is the truth. Either way we are being hurtful, either way we are sinning. Lies and criticizing can both damage a person. They both change how someone sees another person.
When a person's name comes out of our mouths it should only be preceded or followed by a kindness. If we must talk about a bad situation that involves another person then we must also learn leave out all names. If we could and would learn to do this we would never be guilty of changing the life of another person in a bad way with our words...and our lives would change in amazing ways for the good.