Slander is a great evil. Just as the little rudder steers the whole ship wherever it wants, likewise the tongue leads a person either to good or to evil. The holy fathers greatly censure judging other people’s sins, faults, or evil habits. When we judge our brother, we condemn ourselves to a great sin. But when we cover our brother, God will also protect us from great sins. When we expose our brother, we drive the grace of God away from us and He permits us to fall into the same sins so that we learn that we are all weak and that the grace of God supports us. Whoever guards his tongue guards his soul from great sins and grievous falls. The chief cause of criticism and slander is pride and egotism, because one considers oneself better than the others. For this reason it is very beneficial for a person to think of himself as below everyone, so that he considers his brother better than him in order that, with the help of God, he may be delivered from this evil.
subm. no. 10 paragraphs: 1-4 from pages 207-208
From the book
Councels from the Holy mountain
Selected from the letters and homilies of Elder Efraim of Arizona
Selection of passages from the book by Silviu Podariu