When I was in secondary school, I had a teacher whom I thought was irreligious (just indifferent to it but not to the point of profanity). My perception of him, stemmed from his actions, was that he was one of those people who were naturally good and would irrespective of their religious convictions be decent people. During one of his classes, he told us that even if one didn’t read the bible for religious reasons, they should because of the wisdom it contained. He was right about how much one can learn from the holy book.
Below is an excerpt, word to word, from one of my favorite books in the bible. If you are like me, you will get a little attack of conscience while reading it. But we shouldn’t worry. What matters is what guidance we allow it to provide in our future utterances.
‘Avoid idle talk, and you will avoid a lot of trouble.
Never repeat what you hear, and you will have no regrets.
Don’t tell it to your friends or your enemies unless it would be sinful to keep it to yourself.
Whoever hears you will take note of it, and sooner or later will hate you for it.
Have you heard a rumor? Let it die with you. Be brave! It won’t make you explode.
A foolish person trying to keep a secret suffers like a woman in labor.
Any time he hears a secret, it’s like an arrow stuck in his leg.
If you hear that a friend has done something wrong, ask him about it. Maybe it isn’t true. If it is true, he won’t do it again.
If you hear that a neighbor has said something he shouldn’t, ask him about it. Maybe he didn’t say it. If he did, he won’t say it again.
If you hear something bad about a friend, ask him about it. It might be a lie. Don’t believe everything you hear.
A person may say something carelessly and not really mean it. Everyone has sinned in this way at one time or another.If you hear something that makes you angry with your neighbor, ask him about it before you threaten him. Leave the matter to the Law of the Most High.’
Back to my teacher; years after I left secondary, I ran into him at the Catholic cathedral in my town, the same one I went to secondary school. I told him how surprised I was to find him there and what I used to think of him. He didn’t give me a time-out. There was a stunned expression on his face. I guess he was religious after all.
Can you guess from which book of the bible the excerpt came?