If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17
If you believe someone has done something wrong, you should always take the issue to them in private first. This way if there is just a misunderstanding you do not harm the reputation of the other person and do not create gossip. It also gives the person an opportunity to repent of the wrong and change his ways without damaging his image. If he doesn’t listen, then take others with you so that he can see how valid your complaint is.
If you don’t want to take your complaint to the person who did wrong, it is better to just keep silent. When we speak in front of others rather than taking the person in private, we can literally destroy that person, even if that is not our intent. Even worse is if you take your complaint to others and not the person who did wrong, then you not only harm the reputation of the person, but you harm your own by showing yourself to a gossip, a grumbler, and a complainer.
You must remember that it is what comes out of us that comes from the heart and it can make a huge difference in how some people see others.
The Lord showed me a powerful verse about this very thing.
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. James 3:6-8
Our tongue is the very world of iniquity. It defiles the entire body. It is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. No one can tame the tongue. That is such a powerful word.
But God put it on my heart that even though we can not tame the tongue, we can change what comes out of our mouth, by what is in our heart. We have the ability to change hate into love. With hate we have the power to destroy, but with love we have the power to heal. With hate we have the power to curse, but with love we have the power to bless. With love we also have the power to keep silent.
We need to learn to obey the word of God and use the love in us to make a difference by choosing to do what is right by taking it to your brother in private first.