F Ronalds, Willung, Victoria
TALE BEARING IS A SIN. The tale bearer may mean no harm to one's character, nor does he or she set out to hurt anyone's feelings; nevertheless, they stir up strife and 'then words are wounds', Prov. 18. 8. It injures the teller, the hearer and the person concerning whom the tale is told.
'A whisperer separateth chief friends', Prov. 16. 28. It breaks up all possible fellowship and indeed cuts communion with God Himself. It brings much harm to the cause of Christ and hinders the blessing every assembly of God's people is longing for and indeed praying for. It also brings discord among brethren which thing the Lord hates.
'An angry countenance driveth away a backbiting tongue', Prov. 25. 23. That surely means that we should at the least give them no encouragement. The wise man puts it pithily when he says, 'Where no wood is the fire goeth out', Prov. 26. 20. When tales are told, which is harder to control, the tongue or the ear? Fault finding is also a sin. We are told in God's Word not to judge nor pass sentence upon others. That function is beyond our province. It is the prerogative of God Himself and we are entirely unsuited for the judicial work, because we share the faults we would condemn. Faults of others should provide no matter for tale bearing and self righteous attitudes. Others' faults should prompt us to examine ourselves to see whether the things we so readily condemn have a counterpart in ourselves. We may discriminate or form an opinion. This is done by rebuking our brother to his face, not by railing behind his back.
Our Lord has set us a gracious example. He knew who it was who should betray Him long before the event. The disciples never knew. He kept the secret all His earthly life until it was about to happen.
Be this our personal bond, speak evil of no man. Let the character of the Lord's people be precious in our sight, lest we should bring dishonour to the name of the Lord.
From Word and Work, Australia.