How To Respond To An Evil Report
A. The Problem:
1. What causes conflicts in families, churches or organizations to flare out of control and split the entire group?
2. What causes close friendships to be broken when neither party offended the other?
3. Why are attempts to restore a fallen Christian brother or sister often met with defeat?
B. Definition of An Evil Report:
1. Using Words, Tonal Patterns, or Facial Expressions to put someone else in a bad light.
2. It is Damaging Someone Else's Reputation with information that doesn't need to be shared.
3. It is Encouraging or Spreading Discontent or Discord among others --- and causes the hearer to respond with unscriptural "solutions".
4. Even if I am Responsible to give negative information --- it will be a bad report if I don't First Go To The Offender Privately according to Scriptures with the motive of Restoring him.
5. An evil report involves Distortion of facts --- Incomplete facts --- or False information.
6. It is given with Wrong Motivations --- and causes the hearer to come to Inaccurate Conclusions.
7. Evil reports are so destructive that they can even Destroy Long-Lasting, Close Friendships.
Proverbs 16:28, "A froward man soweth strife: and a whisperer separateth chief friends."
C. Stages of Spiritual Destruction:
In the medical world, there are Stages In The Development of a disease. In the same way, there are Stages of Destruction to a spiritually healthy person:
1. Ignorance - of "preventive" measures to avoid contamination;
2. Exposure - to the person who is already "infected";
3. Contamination - (defilement) by allowing the "germs" to enter our system;
4. Infection - as the "germs" overcome our normal defenses;
5. Disease - when the infection destroys vital life-supporting functions.
(( Now, Lets Notice These Stages of Development: ))
A. II Corinthians 2:11, "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices."
1. Ignorance,is Not Being Aware of the destructive power of untrue or distorted words.
2. When we finish this lesson --- I assure you --- you will not be ignorant on this subject.
B. Ignorance of how Words Destroy Close Friendships:
Proverbs 17:9, "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth [very] friends."
C. Ignorance of how the Unclean Defile The Clean, rather than the clean influencing the unclean.
Haggai 2:11-14, "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests [concerning] the law, saying, If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. Then said Haggai, If [one that is] unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. Then answered Haggai, and said, So [is] this people, and so [is] this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so [is] every work of their hands; and that which they offer there [is] unclean."
D. Ignorance of What Constitutes An Evil Report:
It is an Unauthorized or Distorted or False Report which influences a person to form an evil opinion about another person.
E. Ignorance of How Evil Reports Are Given:
1. Evil reports are communicated by words, facial expressions, gestures, and tonal patterns.
2. The can be subtle or obvious, quiet or angry, sweet or bitter.
F. Ignorance of Who Gives Evil Reports:
Giving bad reports is part of the fallen nature of every person.
1. Whisperer: --- One who secretly or privately passes on evil reports to others.
Psalms 41:7, "All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt."
2. Gossip: --- One who magnifies and sensationalizes rumors and partial information.
3. Slanderer: --- One who seeks to destroy another's credibility or reputation with damaging facts, distortions of facts, or evil suspicions.
4. Busybody: --- One who digs up evil reports and makes it his business to spread them by means of gossip, slander, or whispering.
a. Such an action is as great a sin as murder or stealing.
b. I Peter 4:15, "But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters."
G. Ignorance of What Motivates Evil Reports:
1. Bitterness --- Reacting because of personal hurts;
2. Rebellion --- Justifying an independent spirit;
3. Deception -- Believing that evil reports are right to give;
4. Pride --- Wanting to exalt self;
5. Guilt --- Justifying past actions or attitudes;
6. Envy --- Desiring what another has.
H. Ignorance of How Susceptible We Are to evil reports:
We enjoy hearing them because they exalt us --- they bring down or hurt those whom we dislike.
I. Ignorance of How Satan Uses Evil Reports:
1. To Discredit Spiritual Leadership.
2. To cause Christians to Close Their Spirit toward each other.
3. To Multiply Conflicts and produce more ungodliness.
4. To prompt non-Christians to Mock Christianity and reject Christ.
A. Proverbs 27:12, "A prudent [man] foreseeth the evil, [and] hideth himself; [but] the simple pass on, [and] are punished."
Exposure, Is Entering Into Conversation With A Person Who Is A Carrier of An Evil Report.
B. How Does God Want Us To Respond?
1. Psalms 101:5, "Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off:"
2. Romans 16:17, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
C. How To Detect a Carrier of an evil report:
1. A carrier will usually Test Your Spirit before giving you the evil report --- Any evidence of a Compatible Spirit In You will Encourage him to give you the report.
2. A carrier will usually Check Your Acceptance of his report before giving it.
a. He may ask your opinion about the person ...
b. He may drop a negative comment and observe your response to it.
3. A carrier will often Get You To Ask for the report by Creating Curiosity for it .....
4. A carrier may communicate an evil report by Asking Us For Counsel or by Sharing A Concern for the person involved.
5. A carrier may use evil reports to Get You To Admire him or her because of being on the inside and having access to privileged information.
D. How To Detect an Evil Report --- 5 questions:
1. What is Your Reason for telling me?
Widening the circle of gossip only compounds the problem.
2. Where did you get your information?
Refusal to identify the source of information is a sure signal of an evil report.
3. Have You Gone To Those Directly Involved?
a. Spirituality is not measured by how well we expose an offender, but by how effectively we restore an offender.
b. Galatians 6:1, "Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
4. Have you Personally Checked Out all of the facts?
Even "facts" become distorted when not balanced with other facts or when given with negative motives.
5. Can I Quote You if I check this out?
Those who give evil reports often claim that they are "misquoted."
A. Proverbs 26:22, "The words of a talebearer [are] as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."
B. In the same way that touching a diseased person will defile one's hands, listening to an evil report will Defile One's Mind.
C. Absalom --- used an innocent sounding evil report to steal the hearts of almost an entire nation and lead it in revolt against his own father, King David - How Did He Do It?
1. He gathered and organized a group that would be Loyal To Him, rather than the one whom he served.
2. He was Energetic and Disciplined.
3. He made himself Available To The People --- He offered to be the Representative to make sure things were done right.
4. He Sought Out Those Who Had Grievances.
5. He had a Personal Interest In People.
6. He would use his new position to Increase His Loyal Following.
7. He Desired Acceptance and Recognition as well as Authority.
D. II Samuel 15:6, "... so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel."
A. Proverbs 14:15, "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent [man] looketh well to his going."
B. Proverbs 17:4, "A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips; [and] a liar giveth ear to a naughty tongue."
C. Symptoms of Infection:
1. Believing the evil report is true.
2. Forming Negative Opinions based on the report.
3. Focusing On Negative Aspects of the person involved.
4. Interpreting the person's words and actions as "Supporting Evidence".
5. Judging Motives on the basis of the evil report.
6. Backing Away From The Person In Your Spirit.
7. Telling The Evil Report To Others.
A. Proverbs 26:24-25, "He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for [there are] seven abominations in his heart."
B. Disease --- is being mentally and emotionally controlled by the evil report and by the destructive spirit of the one who gave it to us.
C. A deseased Christian has grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit by taking up the offenses of others, making them his own, and adding to them.
D. Symptoms of Disease:
1. Developing Bitterness and/or Rebellion, even though the person involved did not directly offend you.
2. Setting ourselves As The Judge in matters which are God's responsibility and recruiting others to "our side".
3. Searching Out Evil Reports and using them to give the worst possible impression.
Proverbs 16:27, "An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips [there is] as a burning fire."
4. Believing that such actions are actually Accomplishing God's Will rather than realizing that ----- We Give Non-Christians Occasion To Blaspheme God's Name Because of Our Lack of Genuine Love.
Conclusion: --- How To Cleanse Your Mind of An Evil Report.
A. Ask God To Cleanse Your Mind from the defilement of an evil report.
B. Pray for God to give you Genuine Love for each one involved in the evil report.
C. Cleanse Your Mind with appropriate Scripture.
1. Have I Accepted The Evil Report As True?
Proverbs 14:15, "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent [man] looketh well to his going."
2. Has the evil report Affected How I Feel Toward The Person Involved?
Proverbs 15:4, "A wholesome tongue [is] a tree of life: but perverseness therein [is] a breach in the spirit."
3. Do I have an Urge To Tell someone else the evil report?
a. Ephesians 4:29, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers."
b. Proverbs 11:13, "A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter."
c. Proverbs 17:9, "He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth [very] friends."
D. How Do I Know when I have cleansed my heart?
1. You will lose your urge to tell someone else the evil report.
2. You grieve over the fact that the report was given.
3. You have genuine love toward the person involved in the report.
4. You are prompt to examine your own life for failures.
E. Act on what God is directing you to do:
1. Is God directing you to Contact the one who gave you the evil report?
2. Is God directing you to Contact the person involved in the situation?
3. Is God directing you to Contact those who are spiritually responsible for the situation?
A Search For The Truth