TITLE: Is the Matter Worth Repeating?
By Dan Wilson
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Solomon wrote, “He who covers a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates friends.” (Proverbs 17:9 NKJV). Have you ever played the game where one person would whisper a sentence or two to another person and that person would in turn repeat the “same” comment to a third person? This process continues until the last person in the group reveals what they were told. Many times what is revealed at the end is not what the first person said at the beginning of the game.
As believers God wants us to be messengers of the gospel not messengers of gossip. Paul tells us in the book of Romans not one person is righteous, no not one. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. Even after we have trusted Christ as our Saviour we will fall into sin for we still have the carnal nature living within us. We should never gloat or glory when a brother or sister in Christ has given into temptation.
The word “covers” in Proverbs 17:9 can mean to cover for secrecy or to conceal. This verse is not saying any transgression should be kept hidden or shoved under the carpet. The Word of God provides a means for restoring one back into fellowship. However, too often, instead of taking our personal time to pray for a brother or sister in the Lord to be restored, we share the request with others. And soon the transgression becomes too well known and each time it is told, it has a tendency to be embellished.
Paul wrote to the Galatians, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1 NKJV) How many believers have been hurt beyond measure because of an unbridled tongue? Gossip means a person who habitually reveals personal or sensational facts of an intimate nature. Gossip can be best described as a person going to sip from an unclean vessel.
Fresh, juicy blackberries are very tantalizing. Who can stop eating a handful or two while picking them or enjoying a dish of hot blackberry cobbler fresh from the oven? As good as the fruit is, the seeds are not. They can become pesky after you have enjoyed the berries. And if you’re not careful the blackberry juice will stain your fingers and clothing. In comparison, repeating a person’s transgression may sound tantalizing at first, but eventually the gossipy stain and seeds can mar the person’s and your reputations.
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