It is a common human trait to talk about things and people but this trait becomes toxic and devilish when we become inhuman, insensitive, malicious, derive pleasure from causing offenses and tearing others down either secretly or publicly, without thoroughly investigating a matter, before jumping to wrong conclusions and misleading others.
As a young Christian many years ago, I assumed that believers could not go wrong. I saw everyone in church as perfect saints. Oh, how wrong I was!
The Holy Spirit with experience became My Best Teacher in a matter of time.
No wonder the Scriptures says, “Jesus learnt obedience through the things He suffered”. There is no doubt, we will also learn from the sweet and sour relationships with our fellow brothers and sisters in the Faith.
Please, do not misunderstand me! The Bible rightly said, “When we see Him we shall be like Him…”. Until then, all believers are WORK IN PROGRESS, (like on a construction site where some work will be easy and fast but others might be tasking, requiring enormous efforts).
This explains why the owner of the field in Matthew 13:24-30 gave instructions to wait until the time of the harvest to gather the wheat into his barn. The house of God, like the field is filled with mixed multitude and only the harvest will determine the real crop.
Jesus said , “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is God”(Matthew 19:17). NO! no one is infallible except God! “The best of man is still man at his very best.” (A popular saying by a Beloved Father)
The caption says it all, “You have no right to speak to other people about any matter you have not discussed with the person concerned. It is totally wrong; unacceptable by God’s standard!
Moreover, Almighty God cannot accept a gift from you if you remember your brother has something against you, He wants you to leave the gift on the altar and resolve the issue first. How much more if you have something against your brother and you offer Him, your gift? Will He receive it from you? (Matthew 5:23-24)
Gossips, rumour, bitterness, slander, hatred, envy, jealousy, evil speaking, back-biting, back stabbing, betrayal and other offenses have become the order of the day among believers at this end time.
We all pretend and turn a blind eye when it does not directly affect us or even help to spread it more, especially when we secretly hold a grudge against the person at the receiving end.
Friends, it will not be long before you too hit the tabloid if drastic steps are not quickly taken and positive changes which begin with us, are effected in our churches now.
Remember, the person who discusses other people’s issues with you today, will discuss yours with others, also tomorrow.
Chronic gossips and rumour mongers often have great underlying problems to deal with, if they look inwards. Showing them love by encouraging them to invest their precious time on what matters, will surely make their lives a lot better and not bitter.
Did Jesus Christ whom we all claim to follow with all our hearts and fight for by crucifying others, not teach us how to handle offenses and resolve matters? Through the mouths of the Apostles, He also gave further instructions on how to conduct ourselves regarding other people’s lives and businesses?
(Matthew 18:7; Ephesians 4:31; Romans 16:17; 1 Peter 2:1; 1 Peter4:17; 1Thessalonians 5:21; 2Timothy 1:13)
As children of God, we are only allowed to confront an offender one on one first, then go with one or two witnesses if he or she refuses to adhere to warning or reconcile, before making it known to the CHURCH (The Body of Christ), and NOT to the PUBLIC (the world) and all these MUST be done in love and humility of Christ, to gain the erring person or classify him or her like a heathen who will not turn a new leaf. (Matthew 18:15-17).
When dealing with an allegation or perceived wrongdoing, speaking to the relevant brother or sister first and foremost, to ask questions and clear doubts, is the primary responsibility of whoever is in charge. Then, a thorough investigation should be conducted.
Please note: Choosing novices, immature christians, tale-bearers, men pleasers, as leaders to handle sensitive issues will only wreck more havoc as they will spread falsehood, allow their own emotions get the best of them and further dent the image of the church.
Proverbs 11:13 “A tale bearer reveals secrets, but He who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter”.
It is a shame to judge and condemn anyone based on hearsay, reports, opinions without giving him or her a chance to defend himself or herself. Proverbs 18:13 “ He who answers a matter before he hears it, it is folly and shame to him”.
How disheartening to see christians shooting at the wounded soldiers in our midst, poking their wounds and also driving people away from church through trashy talks that demoralize the wounded and feeble hearted rather than helping them get back on their feet.
In some cases, backsliders who could have been restored back to faith through godly rebuke and wise counsel , have been totally given up upon by our overbearing attitude.
Unbelievers watch us from a distance, wondering if we truly love ourselves as Our Saviour commanded and if it is worth coming into the light we profess.
Our self righteousness or holier than thou attitude often gets into our heads, we judge and condemn our fellow believers without impunity or a chance to express themselves.
Have we ever asked ourselves, “How much exactly did we pay for the sins of anyone and where are the marks of crucifixion on our hands, side and feet? What price have we paid for the remission of sins? “. “Are we even capable of paying for our own redemption, let alone for others?
Apostle Paul asked, “Who is he who condemns? It is Christ that died…” (Romans 8:34) Only Our Lord Jesus Christ reserves the right to condemn anyone, no mortal irrespective of his or her tribe, status, position, gender does. He alone paid the Ultimate price with His blood, laying down His life for ALL mankind and to Him, every soul is precious; He leaves 99 sheep to go after one lost sheep and gains 100 in the end!(Matthew 18:12-14).
Dearly Beloved, you might have been beaten and battered by slanders and the reproaches of those who should know better. You may even be considering quitting on God, it is time to get up and fight for your faith, one more time!
It is better to be approved by God than to live on the approval of men which will get you no where! Stand right with God! Jesus went through worse things, yet He made it. You will also make it, just hold on to The Master’s hands.
Or you are a christian who indulges in gossip, rumour, slander, tale bearing or you are an unruly person who delights in creating problems for God’s children, it is time for you to repent and ask God for forgiveness before, God forbid, His wrath falls upon you because God does not joke with His own, He takes over our battles and fights for us while we hold our peace.