“The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” Proverbs 26:22. Defilement is receiving an evil report from another person and believing it is true.
1. In the same way that touching a diseased person will defile one’s hands, listening to an evil report from another person will defile one’s mind. It is a reality which must be properly dealt with. “Lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby MANY BE DEFILED.” Hebrews 12:15
2. Absalom – an illustration of any listening to an evil report: Absalom used an innocent sounding evil report to steal the hearts of almost an entire nation and lead it in a revolt against his own father, King David. The report emphasized his “concern” for suffering people, his “deep” desire that justice be done and his “ability” to be a better administrator than his father. Actually, Absalom was bitter because his father did not bring judgement to Absalom’s half-brother for immorality, so he took matters into his own hands and was rejected for it. 2 Samuel 15:1-6 Note:
“And Absalom said unto him, “See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the King to hear thee.” Verse 3
“Absalom said, moreover, “Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come to me, and I would do him justice.” Verse 4
He alienated people from their authority by giving an evil report about David’s leadership. “… so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” Verse 6
He carried out a tragic take-over of the nation with the help of those who were defiled and infected with an evil report.
Infection is responding to an evil report with human reasoning and emotion rather than the with spiritual. “The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going.” Proverbs 14:15; “As coals are to burning coals and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.” Proverbs 26:21
1. If the defilement of an evil report is not cleansed, wrong attitudes, opinions, conclusions, and actions will follows – even toward very close friends – “…a whisperer separateth chief friends.” Proverbs 16:28
2. Symptoms of infection:
a. Believing the evil report is true. “A wicked doer giveth heed to false lips.” Proverbs 17:4
b. Focusing on negative aspects of the person involved.
c. Forming negative opinions based on the report.
d. Interpreting the person’s words and actions as “supporting the evidence.”
e. Judging motives on the basis of the evil report.
f. Backing away from the person in your spirit.
g. Telling the evil report to others.
Disease is being mentally and emotionally controlled by the evil report and by the destructive spirit of the one who gave it to you.
“He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him; when he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.” Proverbs 26:24, 25
“Thou shalt not go up and down as a TALEBEARER among thy people.” Leviticus 19:16
1. A diseased Christian has grieved and quenched the Holy Spirit by taking up the offences of the others, making them his own, and adding to them.
2. Symptoms of Disease:
a. Developing a bitterness and/or rebellion even though the person involved does not directly offend us.
b. Setting ourselves up as the judge in matters which are God’s responsibility, and recruiting others to “our side.”
c. Searching out evil reports and using them to give the worst possible impression. “An ungodly man diggeth up evil: and in his lips there is a burning fire.” Proverbs 16:27
d. Believing that such actions are actually accomplishing God’s will rather than realizing that we give non-Christians occasion to blaspheme God’s name because our lack of genuine love – “I speak to your shame… brother goeth to law with brother, and that BEFORE THE UNBELIEVERS. Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you…. Ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.” 1 Corinthians 6:5-8
3. Attempts to restore a Christian who has been overtaken in a fault will usually fail unless the defilement of listening to evil reports is first cleansed and then replaced with the spirit of Christ’s love, humility and forgiveness. Sometimes we do not act on information when we should do so because the defilement or infection hinders God’s grace in us. Hebrews 12:15