When A talks to B about C
When A talks negatively to B about C, what should one do if he is A, B, and C?
A. The Biblical Principles
It is an expression of love to openly and lovingly address the fault of another with whom one has a relationship. It is unloving to first uncover another’s fault to someone else. The result will be prejudicing others’ minds against the offending party and causing strife. (The disciplinary process of Matt. 18:15-17 happens after one has spoken personally to the individual at fault.)
Prov. 10:12, 17:9, 18:8 (Cf. 1 Cor. 13:6)
B. Applications of the Principles
The key is openness in love. When A does not openly and lovingly address C’s fault but instead speaks to B about it, the key is still openness in love.
1. “A” should:
- a. Confess his unloving attitude and action to God as sin.
- b. Approach C about his fault at the appropriate time.
- c. At the appropriate time acknowledge his wrong to B for having spoken of C’s fault (and even share that he has spoken to C about it).
2. “B” should:
- a. Encourage A to speak with C.
- b. Give C the benefit of the doubt concerning what was said.
1 Cor. 13:7
- c. Not mention the issue to C (and in so doing not talk behind A’s back about his sin in exposing C’s fault).
*If B must clarify the issue for his own peace of mind, he should be open in love with A that unless A speaks with C by a certain time, B will need to clarify the issue with C. He should then get back with A to see if he has followed through.
3. “C” should (if he hears about the issue from B):
- a. Ask B if he has asked A to talk to him (C). If B has not, ask B to do so (without mentioning having spoken with C).
- b. If B will not speak with A, inform B that he (C) will need to speak with A about the issue (thus revealing B’s sin in having told C what A said to him behind C’s back).
Insights and concepts adapted from The Heart of Man and The Mental Disorders by Rich Thomson)