By Patricia Backora, author of the book
Tough Love in Christ's Millennium
Which you can order online from: http://www.publishamerica.com
II Peter 2:20-22
A certain young believer, Brother Badmouth, spread some lurid gossip about a fellow Christian who was away on an extended vacation. Thus was his reasoning: “Brother Blank will be gone for a long, long time, and by the time he gets back no one will remember what I said about him anyway, and even if the rumor does get back to him, no one will recall who started it.”
A real busybody, Brother Badmouth had spent some time spying on the elderly saint. Several times a week, an attractive young woman would enter the home of the old bachelor, and stay a couple of hours. Whatever transpired in Brother Blank’s house always occured in his bedroom. Brother Badmouth had glimpsed her slender silhouette plenty of times through the drawn shades. But Brother Blank always had denied anyone was there in the house with him.
Now that the venerable church elder was absent, Brother Badmouth could relieve himself of his burden of gossip. Since he was a new convert, he thought his word wouldn’t carry much weight with the more mature brethren of the church, and they’d laugh off his idle talk instead of getting mad about it. So he spread the story among other young believers: Brother Blank was living in sin, and lying about it. And he’d just left for Miami to carouse in night clubs and gamble away his life savings.
The lie spread like wildfire through the church pews. When Brother Blank got back earlier than expected, he discovered he was the proprietor of a house of ill repute, and that’s how he’d gotten the means to go sow some wild oats in Florida.
The elderly gentleman burst into tears. “She was just giving me my dialysis. I rented out the machine to use at home, because it’s way too far to travel back and forth to the city to go to the hospital every day. I didn’t want any of you to know I was ill. I was afraid it would ruin my testimony, because I’ve preached all these years that Jesus always heals you when you ask Him to. And I took that trip to Florida because I might not be with you all much longer. I just wanted to go see my relatives one last time before I go home to glory.”
The young liar was speechless. Tearfully he admitted his sin, and asked for forgiveness from Brother Blank and from the whole congregation. Without hesitation, it was granted. Brother Badmouth drew a big sigh of relief. He was off the hook, and back in good standing with his pastor and all his church chums.
My how short human memory can be. One year later, Brother Badmouth was strolling by the drugstore where some old men were sitting on a bench, idly chatting about Brother Blank, who had just died. Their topic: Brother Blank’s reason for remaining unmarried, and what they thought it must have been.
Feet on fire, Brother Badmouth hurried to go tell the pastor. “I was right all along!” he shouted, bursting into the study where the pastor was quietly meditating. “I got the truth from Brother Blank’s old war buddies! Brother Blank died in sin! They know the real reason Brother Blank stayed single for 66 years! Get this, Pastor...”
“You get OUT!” shouted the pastor, before the meddler could make more trouble. “We gave you another chance, but you threw it away! Brother Blank served most of his life on the mission field. The sacrifices he made for Christ were so great he had to stay single! He’s worth 10,000 of you! You’re a worse traitor to Christ than Judas Iscariot!”
Brother Badmouth never did repent of revoking his repentance. He grew so bitter toward the pastor for throwing him out he went back to the world and renounced his own faith.