·    I will walk in the light as He is in the light (1 John 1:7).

·    I will forgive others as God has forgiven me in Christ (Ephesians 4:32).

·    I will only judge others if I have taken the splinter out of my own eye first (Matthew 7:1-5).

·    I will correct him only if I am spiritual and gentle (Galatians 6:1). If I feel like correcting him, I am probably neither.

·    I will correct another with the intention of restoring him or her to close fellowship with God. I will do it in a biblical manner (Matthew 18:15, 35).

·    I recognize that there is a difference between those who are forgiven and those who are qualified to be teachers.

·    I will not talk about the life of a fellow believer unless his life is a positive testimony to God’s saving grace. If there is a negative rumor, I will check with the person himself.

If a believer is a public figure and there is a rumor of moral impropriety about his life, that rumor should be brought to his attention. He should be encouraged to straighten out the story if it is untrue. If it is true and he has repented, he should be encouraged to make that known to the public. If it is true and he has not repented, there should be an attempt to restore him to fellowship. If the man is an elder and has repented, he should be forgiven and restored to fellowship, but he might have lost his qualification to be an elder.

*Excerpted from Being Christian. To purchase, visit ccmbooks.org/bookstore