Evil Reports

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A talebearer reveals secrets, but he who is of a faithful spirit conceals a matter (Proverbs 11:13 Proverbs 11:13A talebearer reveals secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit conceals the matter.
American King James Version×
). We know the importance of good, reliable witnesses in court cases as well as how much a false report can hurt someone. Much of the evil that we hear is gossip or is motivated by the desire to elevate the person sharing it by putting others down.

Paul encouraged the Philippians to think about things that were true, noble, just, pure, lovely, good, virtuous and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8 Philippians 4:8Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
American King James Version×
). He knew that humans readily form opinions about others from the first report they hear, and seldom do we seek corroboration and proof. We can dislike a person who we have never met because we heard rumors about them. Everyone has something good about them. Our opinions of a person can be changed and molded by seeing their actions. It’s better to not believe the evil one hears without proof than to regret acting on the gossip in our ears.