Early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, “Brother, the grass grows on your path.”
Although we have responsibilities to others, we are primarily accountable to God. It is before him that we stand, and to him that one day we must give an account. We should not therefore rate human opinion too highly, becoming depressed when criticized and elated when flattered.
While extremely sensitive as to the slightest approach to slander, you must also guard against an extreme into which some people fall who, in their desire to speak evil of no one, actually uphold and speak well of vice. If you have to do with one who is unquestionably a slanderer, do not excuse him by calling him frank and free-spoken; do not call one who is notoriously vain, liberal and elegant; do not call dangerous levities mere simplicity; do not screen disobedience under the name of zeal; or arrogance, of frankness; or evil intimacy, of friendship. No, my friends, we must never, in our wish to shun slander, foster or flatter vice in others: but we must call evil evil, and sin sin, and so doing we shall serve God’s glory.
Though I know intellectually how vulnerable I am to pride and power, I am the last one to know when I succumb to their seduction. That’s why spiritual Lone Rangers are so dangerous – and why we must depend on trusted brothers and sisters who love us enough to tell us the truth.
Be assured that one who shall always walk faithfully in God’s presence, always ready to given Him an account of his/her actions, shall never be separated from God by consenting to sin.