ABOUT ACCUSATIONS, ENSURE THAT YOU DO NO LESS THAN THIS
One evening, a young man reported a minister of the gospel to me. It was a grave accusation bordering on sexual infidelity. I requested to contact the person involved. Eventually, the minister reached out himself. His defence was outrageous but I gave him that chance of fair hearing.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.” (I Timothy 5:19 NKJV)
Since it was just the young man who reported the minister to me, I reached out in wisdom to the minister without accusing him. But when he was done responding, he became the second witness of his own accusation. I knew something was not right about his pattern especially when he justified “romancing prostitutes to reach out to prostitutes.” I was glad I spoke with him anyway.
If you hear an accusation and you run with it, you have only allowed gossip and evil to thrive under your watch. The psalmist mentioned that we should never allow this:
“I will get rid of anyone who whispers evil things about someone else; I will not tolerate anyone who is proud and arrogant. No liar will live in my palace; no hypocrite will remain in my presence.”
(Psalm 101:5, 7 GNT)
The standard is never for you to tell someone else, the standard for you is to raise it first with the person. If you tell someone else, you have only fallen into gossip. If the person is your brother in Christ, reach out and ask questions. Do not allow the hurt to fester. There are people you are reacting to right now without asking them any questions.
Let us see it in the scriptures:
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. (Matthew 18:15-17 NKJV)
See the pattern:
STEP ONE: If a brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him ALONE. A lot of believers are more comfortable reporting or gossiping than confronting the truth in love. The right thing is to raise the matter alone with the person concerned. At least, love covers a multitude of wrongs. If he hears you, you have gained a brother.
STEP TWO: If he does not hear you, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ You can only involve others after you have had a private conversation about it. Most people would jump to this part and even the witnesses do not speak to the accused person most times. They just say “hmmm” or “ahhhh” and add “So brother or sister is like this. It is well o”
STEP THREE: Tell it to the church. This is the next option. There are accusations that the whole church has heard except the accused himself. He just wonders why people are getting cold towards him/her. He is confused why someone who greets him or her warmly is suddenly responding with his or her nostrils.
This is now many churches and godly relationships have been destroyed- gossip. Gossip is evil:
• It breaks healthy relationships and turns family members into enemies.
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” (Proverbs 16:28 NIV)
• When gossip is confronted, disagreements would always die a natural death.
“Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip, a quarrel dies down.”
(Proverbs 26:20 NIV)
Who are you reacting to now because of what someone told you without asking the person directly? Who has become your enemy because of the gossip you swallowed? Go back to the godly approach now.