" A Certain Preacher's Secretary Told My Wife." The story often originates with a third party; to sound authentic, and to remove (?) responsibility from the talebearer. Nurses, secretaries, the maid, or anyone likely to come upon confidential information will do.
"You Know, He's Been Out Of Town A Lot Lately." Give it an element of truth. Fit it in with a few known facts to make it just plausible enough to swallow.
"I Dislike Telling This, But I Know It Is My Christian Duty." By all means, do your duty. The Scriptures say, "rebuke before all" and by taking them one at a time you can have a whole juicy week of it. Clearly, your duty to "tell all" outweighs your duty to (1) check for accuracy: (2) go to the party involved and offer genuine assistance in making correction; (3) consider the effect this publicity will have on many innocent parties.
"I Just Can't Stand Nastiness ---" She said, as she wiped the baby's nose with a diaper. Conveniently, the "righteous indignation" you show may cause others to notice your pure, noble character. If this thing gets out of hand, and you have to suffer for it -- you have always thought you would look nice in a martyr's robe.
Solomon said, "For lack of wood the fire goeth out; and where there is no whisperer, contention ceaseth" (Prov. 26:20). Keep it going, by all or any means. Feed the flame, like an arsonist, hungry for the sight and sound of the conflagration, completely unmindful of the destruction done. Give no heed to the "firemen" who work with experience to right the wrong and save the souls involved.
Building Christian character means developing attitudes and tastes in keeping with the teachings of Christ. It is an impure heart that is attracted to the sordid, unclean things in life. And since, "Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh" (Matt. 12:34); the gossiper must be suspected of bad taste. For some strange reason (?) those who think on things pure, lovely, and of good report, do not see or hear half of the private evil so well known to others (Phil. 4:8).
We must control our tongues if we are to escape Hell. "The tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity." James indicates the tongue must be constantly watched -- it is never fully tamed. It is a small member, but it may set the course for our eternal destiny. Loose it, and you damn your soul (Jas. 3).
Younger widows are warned about "wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busy-bodies, speaking things which they ought not" (1 Tim. 5:23). I am persuaded we have broadened the field somewhat since Paul's time -- adding a few grass widows, disgruntled married people, and some nosey preachers. Aren't you just itching to know why I wrote this article?
By Robert F. Turner from the Preceptor, Vol. 16, No. 5, March 1967
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