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BEFORE YOU WHISPER GOOD COUNCIL
VERIFY TWICE, WHISPER ONCE

by Carl A Davenport

How is the Masonic term, “Whisper good council in the ear of an erring brother” supposed to work?
As brothers, and belonging to mankind, we are flawed in everything we think or do, and when our thoughts and/or actions are compared to the perfection given us in the rule and Guide of our Faith. We always “miss the mark” or “fall short of the glory,” as it says in the book of Romans, Chapter 3 verse 23 of the Rule and Guide of our Faith, which is opened on our altar during every Masonic meeting we attend.

With this “miss the mark” or “fall short of the glory” in mind, when we see a brother doing what mankind does best, which is “miss the mark, or “fall short of the glory,” what do we do as a brother for him and as a brother for those around him? Since each and every one of us “miss the mark,” or “fall short of the glory” on a regular basis, how does one qualify to whisper good council into the ear of a brother in this “we all fall short of he glory” filled world when we are all guilty parties?

If we are going to whisper good council, we first have to have some good council to whisper, or we speak with the tongues of men or angels, and have not charity, and become as sounding brass or a tinkling symbol. (1Cor 13:1)

There are a few things the whisperer of good council should do before any council is even been thought about being whispered, or he will surely “miss the mark” or “fall short of the glory” with the good council. Beside these few things, we need to verify, we should know the facts about who we are planning on whispering good council to, and some facts about the person who gave us the report that makes us want to whisper in the first place. So we have two (2) sources to verify, and one (1) source to whisper to, (VERIFY TWICE WHISPER ONCE) but only if it fits into the boundaries of the Masonic term “give due and timely notice.” If it does not fit into the meaning of “give due and timely notice,” we write it off as a rumour and sigh that we were not deceived into spreading someone else's lies. We know who to listen and who not to listen to in the future.

1. The first thing to be sure of is; “Is this the truth” that I am about to engage myself into whispering good council about. Because the best lies are 99% truth, there are a few questions we need to answer before beginning any journey of whispering good council.

2. The second is; Is “due and timely notice” required in this situation. Most of the time, rumours do not fit into the due and timely part of the equation, so they are just an attempt to deceive you into spreading the rumour. Be careful or be deceived.

The Rule and Guide of our Faith also states in Gal 6:7-10 that we will surely reap what we sow at the end of the growing season, unless we die before the end of the growing season comes. Should you receive a rumour and pass it on, you have sowed the seed of that rumour. Like an apple tree you will reap a tree full of fruit from one seed in abundance for years to come. So VERIFY TWICE, AND IF YOU NEED TO WHISPER, WHISPER ONCE. You will be reaping an abundance of brotherly love fruit for at least one of the seeds of brotherly love you plant when a whisper is called for and you do it in good faith.

Like anything else you plan to do, we have to verify its worth and figure the worth against the costs. When we don’t, we have cost over runs and wind up spending more than we can afford. The same is true here, but not in terms of monetary value. When we do our homework we eliminate many errors of judgement on our part. Our homework includes three steps.

1. VERIFY TWICE, WHISPER ONCE ONLY IF NEEDED
How did I learn about it? Did I PERSONALLY verify what I am hearing? If I heard it from a third party, who is the third party, why did they tell me, and is it the truth? Does it contain any half truths that add a twist in the favour of who I received this from? I should just believe any rumour because it came from a brother, and brother doesn’t lie to other brothers…do they???? When someone has news he tells everyone. When someone has a rumour and wants you to spread it for him, he whispers it to you, in private, rather that whispering his council to the erring brother.

Hearing a rumour is just a test of how short of the glory I am. If someone is trying to deceive me into passing their rumours around, and if I pass it on to someone else without doing my investigation and verifying their rumours, I failed the good council test before a single whisper because I didn’t whisper any council, I became their deceiver by yelling an unproven lie from the rooftops about a brother. I fell way short of the glory by a marginal measure because I allowed myself to be used by someone who is unable to even register on the glory scale. If I believe another mason will not lie to me about another mason, and pass it on to another, I have been deceived and fall short of the glory and become the spreader of mis-information because I didn't verify.

2. VERIFY TWICE, WHISPER ONCE ONLY IF NEEDED
Should a rumour prove itself to be true in my investigation, I should bring it to the attention of the erring brother IN PRIVATE, and never should I lower my Masonic character and broadcast or spread it around the grandstands of Freemasonry, to make all aware that this brother has erred and may err upon them?. When I broadcast, I am worse that the deceiver who started the rumour.

What do you think when someone comes to you with a rumour about another brother. He will be under pretense of giving you a warning, or just letting you know so you can look out for yourself. Do you think the spreader of this disease should be put under penalty more so than the person who erred? We all fall short of the glory, some shorter than others. It’s the intent that counts first, then the act. If you fall short without intent, it’s your nature. If someone spreads the truth about another falling short, or if they are trying to make it look like someone falls short, that is not nature. That is the intent first, then the act, and does not fit into the meaning of the Masonic term “give due and timely notice.” It fits in the term of unmasonic conduct. The key word of the due and timely term here is “due.” If the notice is not due right now, and it is given, it is not due notice, it is slander or an attempt to damage a brother’s character. Remember the tinkling cymbal? It’s tinkling loudly.

3. VERIFY YOURELF
Before one whispers any good council; he should make sure all the weeds are removed from his flower garden first. Some may have grown there from the source of what you are about to whisper. If there are many weeds in your garden, you have nothing but those weeds to share. If there are weeds in your garden, you should be pulling them, before you enter another's garden, to pull weeds.

The person who has very few weeds in his own garden also has very few whispers unless he sees the whisper is needed RIGHT NOW to protect a brother and the time he needs to be protected is right now. There is no preparing a brother way ahead of time for doom by whispering good council too far in advance. Due and timely have the meaning of at the time an event is about to happen and shouldn’t be used a year or two ahead of time. Due and timely notice should be given only when apparent danger or true harm is coming their way now. Otherwise it is only deception or slander disguised as brotherly love. Don’t allow anyone who is has not character enough to be listed on the scale of falling short of the glory bring you into their mud hole. VERIFY TWICE, WHISPER ONCE only if needed. If his information was due and timely notice, he would be giving it to the brother who needs it. If it is a rumour, he will whisper it to someone else... you. Be careful or be deceived.

MORAL OF THE STORY:
ALL RUMOURS SHOULD BE VERIFIED AND THEN DROPPED UNLESS THEY PRESENT IMMEDIATE HARM OR DANGER TO A BROTHER. OTHERWISE THEY ARE JUST RUMORS FOR YOU TO SPREAD FOR THEIR CREATOR AND DAMAGE ANOTHER BROTHERS INTEGRITY...BE CAREFUL OR BE DECEIVED
 

 

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