O be careful little ears what you hear
For the Father up above
Is looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear
Still learning about grace
When my husband was first saved at age 20, he aggressively witnessed to M, his father’s second wife. He had a lot of zeal and was still learning about grace when addressing her and she made it very clear that she did not approve of him or his message. Her animosity towards him grew over the years to the point where she told other family members that she hated him. Though Bud apologized and attempted many times to win her over, M refused to be reconciled.
For some reason M seemed to like me. She bought me gifts and was very kind to me. She spent time talking with me and we discovered we shared many of the same interests.
The comments began
Because of the tension between M and my husband I was very mindful about keeping our children under control so Bud could spend time with his father when we visited. Soon the comments began. At first they were subtle, and never when Bud was around. “Bud should make sure you get enough rest.” “I can’t believe Bud said that to you last night.” “Bud is so selfish! He needs to take care of the kids so you can have some time for yourself.” Because of her words slowly, and imperceptibly at first, resentment toward my husband grew in my heart.
Poisoned my thinking
If I had been more mature or more spiritually minded I might have thought of Eve and the subtle words of the serpent in the Garden of Eden. I might have seen that M’s angry words against my husband influenced me to think wrongly about him. I might have responded biblically and told her to take her comments directly to the person she had the complaint against. But I did not want to upset the delicate relationship balance so I kept quiet. Instead, I listened to what she had to say and allowed M’s words to poison my thinking.
I have noticed this same sort of situation in churches. Someone becomes disgruntled with the leadership or with another believer in the assembly and begins grumbling and complaining to others. They either don’t talk to the pastor at all, or they leave from a meeting with the pastor annoyed and angry because he will not side with them on some issue. These kinds of people puff themselves up and make it their pet project to destroy God’s work by gossiping and complaining to others.
God hates these things
Proverbs 6:16-19 says:
There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.
At best these disgruntled believers are guilty of sowing discord among the brethren, and may also be guilty of telling lies and devising wicked plans. Rarely will there even be an attempt to deal with issues biblically, and if rebuked, they are often full of self-righteousness, pride, and even downright hatred.
They may talk of this issue as ‘a prayer request’ or a ‘concern’ but what they are doing is wrong, so wrong that God hates it. God hates those who sow discord among other believers. Yes, He opposes them and what they are doing.
They may caution you that the pastor is preaching heresy or that a fellow Christian doesn’t do things the right way, when in fact the bitterness, resentment or pride in their own heart is the real problem. They are blind to the fact that good men differ over some areas of doctrine and practice. There is no grace extended to genuine believers who hold a differing position. They resent the fact that people love and follow their pastor instead of them.
We will all answer
They forget that we all have to answer to God for our thoughts and actions and that the pastor is particularly held accountable for how he handles the flock. There is no grace, no love and no genuine concern for the body of Christ. They secretly delight in winning others to their position or in hurting the pastor or the church.
Don’t spread gossip!
Be careful, dear sisters, to have your spiritual antennas up! Don’t be the one spreading gossip and don’t listen to those who do! When someone begins speaking critically about another believer, stop them and tell them to talk to that person not to you. If there is a question about what your pastor has been preaching, go to him and ask your questions.
We are all responsible to search the scriptures to see if what we are being taught is accurate. To do this we need to understand what the Bible says. You may need to use a commentary or a reliable modern translation so you can clearly understand what is being taught.
O be careful little ears what you hear
But do not fall into the trap of being spiritually poisoned by lending an ear to a person who God clearly says He hates: a sower of discord among the brethren. Don’t poison the thoughts of other believers with gossip. And don’t be guilty of listening to it just because it comes from a good friend or to keep the peace.
It may be a children’s song, but it contains simple yet rich truth: ‘O be careful little ears what you hear.’