“I always make sure that I am right, and then I proceed.” This quotation is attributed to Davie Crocket, but it could not have been original with him. Thousands of people before his time must have had the same idea, because it is a Bible principle. Therefore, in speaking or in our actions, let us make sure that we are right before proceeding.
In writing to Timothy, Paul condemned those who were busybodies and tattlers (1 Tim.5:13). If all of us make sure that what we say is true and right in the sight of God, a great many problems will be corrected. We live in a sinful world; let us not add to the sinfulness by indulging in gossip. James tells us, “If any man among you seems to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain.” (Jas.1:26).
Does this mean, however, that we are to close our eyes to wickedness and let it go on and increase? Oh no, that would be condoning sin, and the church could never prosper under such conditions. There is a proper way to handle sinful conditions. Paul tells us in Galatians 6:1 that if one is overtaken in a fault, those who are spiritual should restore such a one. However, he said that it should be done in a spirit of meekness, “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Our love for a brother should cause us to try and bring him back to Christ when we know that the things he is participating in will bring reproach upon the church and cause him to lose his soul. However, we should consider carefully the manner in which we go about trying to correct the situation. If we will always remember the “golden rule” we will be more careful about rumors. Jesus says that we are to decide how we would like for people to treat us, and then treat them in that way. (Matt.7:12).
A rumor is talk not based on definite information. It might begin with some basis of truth, but after it is circulated a while, like a snowball rolling down a hill, it grown bigger and bigger; the sin gets worse with each telling, and after a while, there is little similarity to the original statement. Since this is true, we need to be careful of what we say, make sure that we have accurate information, and even then, tell the matter only to those who can correct the situation. Let us never delight in spreading gossip. “Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt.5:9).