As an old story has it a man went to his priest to confess that he lied on his neighbor and was now sorry for doing this. The priest instructed the man to tear a pillow apart and spread the feathers on each corner of the village. The man followed the instructions and then went back to the priest and asked, “Now what?” The priest said, “Go and gather up the feathers.” The man, “That’s impossible.” The priest said, “You are correct. And neither may we gather the lies back into one place and nullify them.”
The point of the above is simple, it is better to keep matters close than to spread them, for they may be lies.
As a pastor it often is my lot to preside over matters for which I have no stomach, differences between believers due to having departed from good advice, and reaping time has come. I use God’s word and also keep a note from Dostoyevsky in mind.
“A hundred suspicions don't make a proof.”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
When I was a young pastor I asked an older pastor about a man. The older man simply said, “I’ve got my suspicions.” I acted on his “suspicions” and very soon regretted it.
It is safe to take Solomon’s word to heart, Proverbs 26:20, Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth.
Copyright © 2013 Larry Lilly