Paslay2The Pastor's Pen

October 2018 Edition from the Proclaimer Newsletter

 
I have been leading a “New Member’s” Class for the last several weeks. We are going through a book by Thom Rainer entitled “I Am A Church Member.” In Chapter 2 of his book, he deals with the subject of “being a unifying church member.” Within the material, he talks about the danger of gossip within a church body that can hinder and destroy unity. Gossip can be untruths or unsubstantiated rumors. Gossip is listed in the lists of sins found in Romans 1:29-31. In the Proverbs, we see that a lying tongue and an individual who sows discord among the breth-ren are actions that the Lord hates. On Wednesday nights, we have been going through the life of Joseph for the last several weeks. In our second lesson, we dealt with the temptation of Joseph by Potiphar’s wife’s advances upon Joseph to commit sexual sin. Joseph repeatedly said no to her ad-vances until one day she approached him with no one in the house. He left his coat and ran away. Mrs. Potiphar then made a false ac-cusation about him to her husband and he was put in prison. I per-sonally don’t think that Potiphar totally believed his wife because he could have executed Joseph, but instead put him in prison. Both gossip and false accusations are clearly wrong and sinful. They can have negative consequences on people and Christians should not be interested in anything but the truth. The best response to someone who has tried to spread gossip to me is “can I quote you?” If people can drop their bombs and slither away with no accountability, they will continue their character assassination. But if you can hold them accountable for their words, they will most likely be hesitant to lie and spread untruths about people. We as church members should guard the unity of our congregation and we should insist on truth and integrity when dealing with one another. As for the false accusations, 1 Peter 2:20 gives us some insight; “For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently en-dure it, this finds favor with God.” Joseph was falsely accused of sexual assault because Potiphar’s wife lied about the incident. What happened to Joseph was completely unfair, but God was with Joseph and he found favor with God. If someone is going to tell stories about us as believers, may it be that they must make them up in order to attack us and not that we are guilty of doing wrong. As for our speech, Psalm 15:2 speaks volumes; “He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart.”
 
Bro. Jim  
 
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