by Loren J. Gier
Tale-bearing produces a threefold poison; for it injures the teller, the hearer, and the person concerning who the thing is being told. Whether the report is true or false, we are by this principle of God’s Word forbidden to spread it. The reputations of the Lord’s people should be very precious in our sight, and we should count it shame to help the devil to dishonor the Church and the name of the Lord.
Some tongues need a bridle rather than a spur. Many glory in pulling down their brethren, as if in so doing they raised themselves. Noah’s wise sons cast a mantle over their father, and he who exposed him earned a fearful curse.
We ourselves, one of these dark days, who may need forbearance and silence from our brethren, let us render it cheerfully to those who require it now. May this be our family rule, and our personal bond—SPEAK EVIL OF NO MAN.
The Holy Spirit, however, permits us to scorn sin, and prescribes the way in which we are to do it. It must be done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back.
This course is manly, brotherly, Christ like, and under God l s blessing will be useful. Does the flesh shrink from it? Then we must lay the greater stress upon our conscience, and keep ourselves to the work, lest by suffering sin upon our BROTHER we become ourselves partakers of it.
Hundreds have been saved from gross sins by the timely, wise, affectionate warnings of faithful ministers and brethren. Our Lord Jesus has set us a gracious example of how to deal with erring friends in His warning given to Peter, the prayer with which He preceded it, and the gentle way in which He bore with Peter’s boastful denial that he needed such a caution.
Waging a good warfare
2 Corinthians 10
Outward force is not the method of the gospel, but strong persuasions, by the power of truth and the meekness of wisdom. People must be persuaded toward God and their duty, not driven by force.
It has been well-known that, in outward appearance, Paul was mean and despised in the eyes of some, but this was a false rule to judge by.
We must not rely on the outward appearance, as if our want of such things proved whether a man is not real or an able, genuine and faithful minister of our Saviour.
There is not a more abundant source of inaccuracy, than the judging of people and their opinions by our own prejudging. How common it is for people to judge from their own religious character and by the opinions and cliché’s of the world around them!
But how different is the Law of Christ’s Love! Of all things crude and disgusting, flattery & self-flattery are the most awful qualities of carnally minded people.
“Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips” (Proverbs 27:2 KJV).
Therefore, instead of praising ourselves, we should strive to approve ourselves to God. No group can be more cocksure than those who are deluded by the devil.
Check out these references:
John 5:44 (KJV)
2 Corinthians 4:3, 4; 11:13
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
Romans 3:20 (KJV)