Online Articles

Online Articles

Should This Be Told or Not?

There are several different ways that we sometimes learn sensitive information about a brother or sister in Christ. It might be by something we have personally experienced, or we might be exposed to certain facts innocently via something inadvertently heard or seen. In other instances someone might sinfully spread gossip that comes to our ears without invitation.

This information may indicate that the brother or sister has done wrong. If so, we must act upon that information for the sake of our fellow Christian. We must go to him with the help that might save his eternal soul (Galatians 6:1,2, James 5:19,20). If someone else has also sinned in the matter (via gossip, etc.) then we must address them also.

But sometimes the thing that is learned is sensitive — might put a brother or sister in a ‘bad light’ — but it is not inherently sinful. What should be done in such a case?

In many, if not most, cases such news should be allowed to die — and the sooner the better. Think about the numerous reasons why:

  1. If we love the one about whom the facts are being reported, then we will want to prevent any further potential harm to him or her. Since this is obviously the way we’d like to be treated, it is therefore the way we should act (Matthew 7:12).
  2. We should also consider the person with whom we are tempted to share this news. If they are told, they will also have to think about the matter, deal with their own feelings about it, and potentially harbor negative feelings toward a fellow Christian unnecessarily. We could spare them all this if we just let the thing ‘rest’ — and we should.
  3. Finally, love for God is reflected in our actions in such episodes. If we gladly report this kind of unfavorable information about a brother or sister, it indicates that we don’t love them as we should. AND, that indicates that we don’t love God like we should either (1 John 4:20). Think!