Have you ever heard something bad about someone and almost immediately your perception about them changes? I can assure you most of us have; it takes a great deal of maturity for what you hear not to affect your thoughts.
Say I confide in Tswelopele to say I have been having problems with, for example, pornography and I am trying to break loose and Tswelopele shares the info with Thateho. Usually amongst Christians this sharing of confidential information is disguised and wrapped in a cloth called prayer requests, usually done over tea or coffee-if you are lucky, you will get some cookies too.
Do you really think that Thateho will look at me the same way again? What will be going on in Thateho’s mind when she sees me singing in front during a church service, when she sees me preaching the Word or even slain in the Spirit ? She would wonder what “spirit” I’m in since I am “so dirty”. Even on the day when I am completely free from pornography, she will still see me as THAT sister and who knows, perhaps by that time the whole church would be carriers of this information too.
How many lives have we discouraged, condemned and sentenced in our churches with what comes out of mouths? How many pastors have taken ‘juicy’ details about people and made them into sermons or given examples in church, pointing at the very people? How many of us have prayed out loud in church on a specific confidential issue someone asked you to pray about in secret, or even raising the issue up during weekday prayer services? How many lives have we bruised? How many people do not want to be believers because of our loose mouths?
Also, is the Word of God that ineffective? That we will think that someone can come to church, read the Word, pray and not change? Why then do we still point to people with reference to their past mistakes? Every person is important in the eyes of God. People make mistakes, grow and move on – most of us make it difficult for them to grow because we flash their mistakes in their faces. Let us love and protect each other.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” – John 13 :35
“A hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor: but through knowledge shall the just be delivered” – Proverbs 11:9