The Devil’s Advocate

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
(Proverbs 29:11 ESV)

How then are we supposed to correct someone who has wronged us in any way? How do we aproach another believer that has transgressed against us in any fashion? The Apostle Paul addresses that very issue in his second epistle to Timothy.

I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
(2 Timothy 4:1-5 KJV)

Yeshua taught on the subject of someone being wronged by another believer. In his discourse, he addressed how the matter should be approached and specifically addresses gosssip and slander.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
(Matthew 18:15-17 ESV)

The Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Galatians addresses the works of the flesh and the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Enmity, strife, rivalries, dissensions and divisions are clearly listed as fruits of the works of the flesh. Paul warns us that “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” This admonition is for believers, not unbelievers, yet it warns of being rejected from entering the kingdom of heaven.

Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
(Galatians 5:19-23 ESV)

The Apostle Paul continues by telling believers how we should interact with each other within our fellowship with each other through Messiah Yeshua in his epistle to the Ephesians.

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the calling with which you are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:1-3 MKJV)

James, the brother of Yeshua, wrote at great length in his epistle to the twelve tribes of Israel who were in diaspora at the time about the taming of the tongue.

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so.
(James 3:5-10 ESV)

This article has made it very clear how serious and potentially dangerous the sin of gossip is to a believer and warns of other sins that may be incurred by a person engaging in gossip or breaking the laws of lashon hara. King David probably left us with the best advice regarding our communication in one of my favorite Psalms, it says, “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me” (Psalms 39:1 KJV). Don’t play the part of the Devil’s Advocate. Yeshua’s followers are under enough persecution from Satan without your assistance.

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