Criticize the person in front of him if you were alone, because this is better for his development and his own good; criticize him politely with no over excitement. Do not criticize him in his absence and in the presence of people that would benefit from this criticism unless you were capable of pure analysis that carries no hatred or destruction. In all cases, don’t talk about his defects because you are not free from defects yourself. You often would fall into the guilt that you accused him with, or you have already fallen so you accuse him with it being afraid from repentance. Perhaps the worst thing that happens after that is that you would make people go away from the person that you gossiped about since you would lead these people into despair when they hear that this person has done an obscenity or a robbery …etc.

If evil was so general as you have pictured then who would be able to have hope or remain firm in goodness? I am not saying that you should imagine that everyone is righteous. The bible teaches us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3: 23). However, do not reveal sins in order to avoid making people that seek righteousness and kids that think most people are saints stumble.  Woe not only to those who cause stumbles, but also woe to those who say stumbles. God says: “He shall hide me in his pavilion” (Psalm 27: 5). Like God, we should hide the sins of others. Do not expose yourself too as this will bring no benefit to anyone. Only expose yourself to God through confession; and if anyone revealed to you a sin he did, do not tell him that you do it too because this shall be harmful.

Do not say anything that won’t benefit others and push them upwards towards seeing the divine goodness and love. When you ascend to the high mountains, you take others with you. In this ascension, you need nothing but your faith in that who is sitting up. Talk to people about the Lord so that their grief will go away and their despair about their selves would end. When this happens, they shall regain the faith in their capability of goodness.

Remember this: “Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is able to keep their whole body in check (he means the human entity) … The tongue is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell”. This is found in chapter 3 of Apostle James’ epistle. Read the whole passage and think about it and know that silence in a lot of occasions is better than speaking. Silence tames the soul in order to stay away from blabber. Blabber is an internal storm that takes the tongue with it.

Chastity of tongue leads you into all kinds of chastity. There is nothing called a tongue slip; the slip was in you internal anger or hatred or the lust for verbal desire through obscenities. In case of hatred, blabber becomes a mean for killing.

It is real killing when you make others have a bad reputation. You could cause them to get fired from their jobs; you could also cause a divorce or a murder. When you make someone’s reputation bad, it could take them years of effort to regain their good reputation.  When you kill a person, you do it once, while when you make his reputation bad you would kill him every day. After that, you might start believing the things that you say and get desperate through thinking that evil is general. When your tongue is completely purified, you shall walk on the road of hope.

Translated by Mark Najjar

Original Text: “الثرثار” – 05.12.1999