Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Matthew 18:7.
Words of reproach react on one’s own soul. The training of the tongue should begin with ourselves personally. Let us speak evil of no man.
“Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.”
There may be cherished by us certain wrong things that are seemingly as dear as a hand or a foot. These things are to be put away from us forever. Never are our peculiar, unsanctified ideas to be pressed upon others….
There is a great work to be done among church members. Many who are not called upon to enter the public ministry may do much good in their home church by speaking advisedly with their lips. The talent of speech should be used to glorify God. Too often it is used to convey evil reports. This grieves away the Holy Spirit. Let us remember that we have a Saviour who has bidden us [to] come unto Him with all our burdens. He will give us peace of mind, and He, too, will adjust that which to us seems so full of entangling difficulties. “Come unto me,” He pleads, “all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” …
Those who have indulged in words of complaint and criticism shall … pledge that henceforth, by the Lord’s help, they will not speak evil of their brethren and sisters, but will take everything to God in prayer, and follow out the instruction He has given regarding the pointing out of wrongs in our fellow men. Every church member may in his daily conduct be so exemplary, so prudent and careful in speech, so kind and compassionate, that he will be esteemed by all as one who fears and loves God. Such a man will have an influence for good over all his associates.
We are fallible, and have erred many times. Let us return to the Lord with repentance and confession. As we assemble to participate in the ordinances of the Lord’s house, let us make every wrong right, so far as lies in our power. When bowing before a brother, washing his feet, ask yourself, “Have I aught in my heart that separates me from this brother? Have I said or done anything that estranges us?” If so, take it away by heartily confessing your sin. Thus heart will be cemented to heart, and the blessing of God will be manifest.