He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends. Proverbs 17:9.
The psalmist asks, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.” When anyone comes to you with a tale about your neighbor, you should refuse to hear it. You should say to him, “Have you spoken of this matter to the individual concerned?” … Tell him he should obey the Bible rule, and go first to his brother, and tell him his fault privately, and in love. If the directions of God were carried out, the floodgates of gossip would be closed.
When your brethren and neighbors come in to see you, talk of the wonderful love of Jesus. Rejoice in His intercession for lost man. Tell your friends of the love that you have for their souls, because they are the purchase of the blood of Christ. God forbid that we should make the pathway of other weary travelers harder by magnifying their errors, and by sitting in judgment upon their actions. God help us, that we may speak words of comfort and hope and courage to cheer the life of the lonely, and discouraged, and erring.24The Review and Herald, August 28, 1888.
When you are tempted to speak unadvisedly, be on guard. If some one else approaches you with words of criticism regarding one of God’s children, turn a deaf ear to every such word. If you are spoken to harshly, never retaliate. Utter not a word. When under provocation, remember that “silence in eloquence.” Silence is the greatest rebuke that you can possibly give to a faultfinder or one whose temper is irritated.25Manuscript 95, 1906.
It should be our aim to bring all the pleasantness possible into our lives, and to do all the kindness possible to those around us. Kind words are never lost. Jesus records them as if spoken to Himself. Sow the seeds of kindness, of love, and of tenderness, and they will blossom and bear fruit.26SDA Bible Commentary 6:1118.