Joseph Stowell wrote an excellent article for the Summer edition of Heartcry! journal entitled Why Tell the Truth?
In it he asks how can we fortify ourselves against the temptation to misjudge and pass along false information about others in a spirit of beguilement that reaches false conclusions about others and even shares false assumptions about them with others.
He offers five safeguards to this sin:
- A patient spirit that suspends judgment until sufficient facts are verified (Gal. 5:22).
- A love that believes the best until facts prove otherwise (1 Cor. 13:6-7).
- A faith that prays the situation into the courts of heaven, where an all-knowing God promises to judge all men righteously (1 Pet. 1:17).
- A willingness to protect others by encouraging those who are sharing false accusations to reserve judgment until sufficient facts are gathered (1 Cor. 13:4).
- A boldness to go directly (if necessary) to those involved to clarify the facts (Matt. 18:15).
He concludes: The alternative is to become spiritual jackrabbits who jump to all the wrong conclusions, leaving in our trails broken lives and relationships that we could have protected and healed.
May we be our brother’s and sister’s keepers and no spiritual jackrabbits. This is a good word from a good man for a good church for Conciliation Anniversary Sunday.