An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered.
~ Proverbs 11:9
A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
~ Proverbs 11:13
What we do do with what we know is more important what we know. It is rare Christian that takes the Bible seriously in all things. For instance if you discover a transgression regarding someone else in the church what do you do?
a.) Go to your friends and tell them about under the guise or possibly the genuine desire for council?
b.) Go to God in prayer seeking His direction?
c.) Go tell the pastor and expect him to deal with it?
d.) Go to the person directly and speak with them?
Obviously, if you are a Christian you know that option “b” is correct, but after prayer what is the next, correct Biblical step? The answer is “d”. Even if it is something that has to be brought to the pastor’s attention you can appeal to the person first so that you may go to the pastor together. This approach may not work and may not even be likely to work, but in doing so you are giving God the opportunity to build and restore relationships. One of the titles of the devil is “The Accuser of the Brethren.” Bringing accusations is not the churches business. Our Lord is a healer and by proxy so should the church. It is true that there is need to identify illness that treatment may be administered, but we most stick to God’s prescription if we are to expect His help.
So why is it so often that the transgressor is the last person that is often addressed in such matters? It is cowardice, in short. Most of us have strong distaste for conflict and we let our own safety and comfort zone dictate more what we are going to do rather than what we know should be done. So as a result we tend to revert to pack animal tactics, attempting to gain safety in numbers. But the only real safety is found doing things God’s way, so He might intercede on our behalf. And this is going to take courage. Moses had courage when he went to see Pharaoh, but he had the assurance that he was in God’s will.
Also, there is a whole lot of things that no one else needs to know or be concerned with, especially if you are the offended party. You can choose to conceal your own hurts feels and forgive. Love has to be our guiding principle here. Think about it, because love has to also do some pretty tough things at times. Paul had the Corinthian kick a fellow out of the church, and that too was an act of love. First, it was act of love for the sake of God’s reputation. Secondly, it certainly was an act love for the influence and atmosphere of the church.
We can choose to build or we choose to destroy. We can choose govern our actions by what is right or we can go with what is comfortable. James says “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:6) We would do well to think and pray before let it loose.
God Bless You,