On one hand, I won’t be glad when November 8th arrives ( I turn 57). On the other hand, I will because on November 8 we elect the next President and maybe, just maybe, we can turn the corner on the vitriol coming from each candidate.
I have been reading a book called “Lead Like Wesley.” It is a phenomenal read and I commend it to you for your own personal reflection and renewal.
One chapter is entitled, “Lead Candidly.” Wesley says, “Speak evil of no one ; else your word especially would eat as doth a canker. Keep your thoughts within your own breast, till you come to the person concerned.”
Wesley had the ability to see the very best in everyone. But, he was not timid or shy in confronting those who were slandering and back biting others. He found this occurring among the Methodists at Kingswood when he arrived there on February 28, 1741:
“By many witnesses it appears that several members of the Band Society in Kingswood have made it their common practice to scoff at the preaching of Mr. John and Charles Wesley: That they have censured and spoken evil of them behind their backs, at the very time they professed love and esteem to their faces. Therefore, not for their own opinions, nor for any of them, but for the causes above mentioned, viz., for their scoffing at the word and ministers of God, for their tale-bearing, backbiting, and evil-speaking, for their dissembling, lying and slandering:
I, John Wesley, by the consent and approbation of the Band Society in Kingswood, declare the persons above mentioned to be no longer members thereof. Neither will they be so accounted, until they shall openly confess their fault, and thereby do what in them lies, to remove the scandal they have given.”
Yes, it is clear from this reading that Wesley excised the cancer from the Body. Why is it that we are so quick to be judge and jury when it comes to grievous sins like theft, sexual promiscuity, abuse and the like; but we often ignore sins of gossip, tale-bearing and back-biting.
I contend these latter sins have the potential to divide and splinter God’s church. I love what Ephesians 4:25-27 says, “So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry, but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil.”
Let us all be mindful of watching our tongue. Let us train our tongue in this season of Thanksgiving to give thanks to God even for those that challenge us and test our patience. And, let us be bold and speak the truth in love to one another!
God’s Best to you!