You can’t point your finger at someone without pointing at yourself. Try it right now. Extend your index finger and thumb in a pointing position away from you, and then notice in which direction the other three fingers are pointing. They point directly back at you.

Remember that the next time you point out the faults of someone else. Instead of jumping to conclusions, we should give the person the benefit of the doubt and reserve our judgment until all the facts can be known.

Under the Mosaic law, no charges could be brought against anyone unless there were two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15). Jesus echoed that standard when He taught how to deal with a Christian who sins against you (Matthew 18:16).

So if someone has wronged you, first go to the person alone to seek reconciliation (v.15) instead of badmouthing him before others. If the person refuses to admit his wrong and turn from it, then involve others to resolve the situation (vv.16-17). And if someone passes along a slanderous comment to you, refuse to pass it further. Instead, encourage the talebearer to follow these biblical steps.

God’s children are to be channels of love and truth, not maliciousness and lies.