We hear this statement so often in church settings and conversations among some church people talking about someone or some situation. The statement goes like this – have you heard about brother Bobo or did you know that Sister You-know-Who slept with Elder Anytime? You name it and the conversations vary about this one or that one in the church/congregation. Usually, these conversations take place in-between church services, over the telephone and wherever people gathered that gossip.
One thing we must remember about human nature and saved people is that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Many saved people have a challenge remembering that our bodies are sinful until we die or caught away when Jesus returns. Our flesh is not saved and wants to have its way. As a result, of the flesh wanting to have its way there is a continual battle between our flesh and our spirit. When we are not walking in the spirit the battle rages on and our flesh wins out at times. One of the negative results of our spirit losing out to our flesh is when we find ourselves acting out Proverbs 11:13, 17:9, 18:8, 20:19 and 26:20
A rule of thumb might be to learn how in our conversations to speak those things which are edifying. Those things that are edifying build people up rather than tear them down. Conversations that tear people down fall into the syndrome of Satan whose assignment is to kill, steal and destroy. People of God who are brothers and sisters in Christ must always find ways to build each other up.
In the story in Saint John 8, we find Jesus just returning from getting rest and praying at the Mount of Olives. We note that Jesus throughout the scriptures would go away to a solitary place to rest and pray to the Father. It is an example that we might consider following. Jesus has returned to the temple and the people came to him. The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman to him found having sex with a married man. You can imagine how they found this woman and her lover who they did not bring with the woman to Jesus.
This is often how it is that a story is told in a conversation in part rather than the whole detail. There are at least three sides to a story – Person A’s side, Person B’s side and the truth. Jesus confronted by these religious people thought they would catch Jesus in error just like the devil attempts to do too many Christians when they find themselves in conversations that are not right. Jesus knew their assignment, so he let them play it out and then Jesus simply stooped down and began to write on the ground.
Sometimes rather than continue to listen to the gossip maybe we should sit down and get a piece of paper and start writing. The point is why listen when you cannot do anything to help the person by continue to listen to part of the story. One scripture that comes to mind says – Romans 15:1 (KJV) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. The other action we might take is to do what Jesus did in John 8:7 (KJV) 7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. When people keep talking or gossiping ask the question Jesus ask and see the response.
In an age that I would consider all-out war against the saints by our enemy the Devil, it is imperative that we find ways to build one another up instead of destroying each other. The word gives instruction to leaders how they should treat the children of God in Ephesians 4:12 (KJV) 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. The leaders are to help the children of God develop their walk with the Lord, do the work of the ministry and be not only enlighten by the Word of God but be transformed by the renewing of the mind.
As we go forward waiting on the return of the Lord Jesus, let us find ways to help one another when someone stumbles and falls. We must also be aware that some of the challenge’s saints have is because some suffer from various mental and physical ailments that cause distortion in reasoning and behavior.
Let us not be the ones to cast the first stone but the ones who aid in the healing and delivering process so that our brother or sister that has fallen will get back up and thrive as we do. Put the stones back in the stream and share a fresh glass of water from the stream of life.