Four persons, over the space of four years, told me to be careful of a particular minister. The reason? “He is into immorality.” They felt like they didn’t want his behavior to color my reputation dark. They were kinda protecting me from a wrong company.
Well, since I also know the characterization power of association & not desiring to disappoint the friends who told me of their concerns, I decided to play careful with this other guy. You know, we all have this thing of, “I am not perfect, but he is much ‘imperfecter’ than me.” It’s true name is to ‘rationalize’. We tell ourselves ‘rational lies!’
THE WAY OF THE GOSSIP
A Korean proverb says that “words have no wings but they can fly a thousand miles”. Also, Bertrand Russell said that, “no one gossips about other people’s secret virtues”. And Frank Clark cautions: “gossip needn’t be false to be evil – there’s a lot of ‘truth’ that shouldn’t be passed along.”
So, over four years, I tried to mute my ‘friend’ based on the cautions I was given. Of course, I never asked for much details. I know the people telling me wouldn’t be lying to me. That is, until the last of the four guys cautioned me. Then I asked for details & he didn’t have much of it, but eventually told me who told him.
*PAST, PRESENT & CONTINUOUS *
It was a good thing that I followed up the issue. And at the end, the four cautions came from the recycling of a moral failure that happened over 16years ago. And I was told that ‘he is into immorality’. Not one other case was mentioned. Not any near or present story.
Then I made contact with the lady at issue who is a single parent. Yes, something unholy did happen. But then, I felt like – and I may be wrong here – that her emphasis to me was on how he unceremoniously walked away. She still feels the pain after almost 16years & has fought him covertly ever since.
Finally, I reached out to the ‘friend’ I’ve been ‘investigating’. He admitted the almost 2years immoral relationship. He told me he broke it off & confessed the failure to his wife, after a rebuke from God. He insisted that nothing close to such has ever happened again. Hmmm!
AND THEN THIS DISTURBING THOUGHTS
- People will preach on God’s ability to forgive ‘sinners’, but will assume that he never forgives the sins of ‘saints’.
- Some religious folks will tell ‘sinners’ to change their ways, but refuse to believe that someone really did change.
- The person, ‘demarketing’ a minister, based on yesterday’s failures, may be doing it out of sheer envy or dislike.
- Most believers who build prejudice against a person, never consider that they may be hurting God’s purposes.
- We are often quick to judge people in the areas of their weakness & excuse ourselves in our areas of weakness
- Many people who quickly spread an unverified negative story, will ask for proof before sharing a miracle story
LOVE SHOULD ALWAYS LEAD THE WAY
Love should always lead the way in our response to the negative in people’s lives, even when we notice an ongoing wrong. The wrong could be immorality, stealing, rebellion, abusive behavior, doctrinal error, etc. We must not condone evil, we cannot enable evil, we do not excuse evil, but we should not go wrong in trying to right wrong.
This is the Bible way; “BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.” Gal 6:1 (AMP)
The Lord fill your heart & life with his love! You will never be overcome by evil! May you be Gods instrument of grace to others! This week bring only good things to you in Jesus Christ name!
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Jesus Exceeds Expectations!