Tattletale :: By Grant Phillips

The phrase, “You dirty rat,” has often been attributed to James Cagney, but he never said it. Nevertheless, bad guys don’t like “dirty rats”. They’re also called “snitches or squealers.” The police agencies call them “informants.” Any way you cut it, they certainly would not be safe in most prisons.

When we were youngsters, we called them “tattletales.” Have you ever had someone tattle on you in your childhood days; a sister or brother? Maybe one of your fellow classmates turned you in. I recall one time in particular of being reported to the higher authorities (parents). Who hasn’t experienced at least once being “ratted out?” Oh my, those were the days.

Have you ever considered the fact that Satan is the biggest tattletale of all? If you don’t think so, you might want to talk to Job about that. The thing with Satan is he doesn’t care about getting his facts straight either. But alas, what does it matter? We’re all guilty as sin anyway (pardon the pun), when he points his gnarly finger at us when talking to God.

The Bible says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)

It also says, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” (James 2:10)

Jesus even tells us in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that we’re guilty of murder even if we don’t commit the crime, but have hate in our heart toward another.

My goodness, we’re guilty any way we turn aren’t we? Maybe that’s why we need a Savior.

But let’s get back on track. I was talking about tattletales and Satan being the worse. I don’t think Satan runs to God and “spills the beans” on those who are not Christians. They’re already his anyway, and God only disciplines His own children. That leads me to say that I know Satan runs to God every time a Christian slips up.

Christians if you weren’t aware before, know this, Satan loves to go to our Parent (God) and tell Him everything we’ve done wrong. However, always keep in mind that Jesus died for all our sins; past, present and future. That knowledge alone should have us thanking the Lord every day for His unmerited grace of which we know we do not deserve … and knowing we don’t deserve it, makes it even sweeter. This leads us to another point; because of His love for us, we should show our love for Him by obedience to His will.

What about the tattletale though? What makes a tattletale? It seems to me that in most cases jealousy and pride plays a big part in Satan’s constant accusations. He had it all, and he lost it all because of pride. Apparently there isn’t a humble bone in his angelic body. It’s all about his pride.

I’m not saying it’s always wrong to turn someone in to the higher authorities when the situation merits it. For example; if you witness someone breaking the law, you should be a good citizen and turn them in.

The tattletales I’m speaking of are those who are just petty, wanting to get someone else in trouble while elevating themselves in the eyes of the one holding authority. That is Satan.

Every time Satan accuses us, and his accusations are probably very accurate, he is just trying to make excuses to God, the highest authority. He is trying to show in our failures that we are no better than he. Even though he rebelled against God, so do we. The difference is, we have come to our Father and received eternal forgiveness by putting all our faith in His Son Jesus who died for us. Satan regrets none of his actions and is still trying to usurp God’s throne.

Sometimes we Christians attempt to judge ourselves before God by the failures of our fellow siblings in Christ. This is wrong. This is exactly what Satan does, but Satan’s accusations will one day end for good.

“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” (Revelation 12:10 NIV)

So remember brothers and sisters in Christ, everyday Satan stands before God pointing each of us out to our Father in Heaven as sinful failures. He calls out our name and spits out a list of atrocious sins that are ours. I’m sure he has tattled on me many, many times, but in my imagination I see God looking over toward His Son when the accusations are made. The Son quickly responds with something like, “This one is mine. I’ve paid their debt.” Our Father God looks back at Satan and responds with something like, “You lose…again.”

Good riddance, blabber mouth.

Grant Phillips
Email: grantphillips@windstream.net