Two Sides to the Story

Too often we hear reports about other saints and we immediately jump to conclusions. Even when the source is reliable we violate a Biblical principle when we assume the report is correct without confirming it.

By way of example, Scripture teaches us, “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” (l Tim. 5:19) The apostle Paul also writes, “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.” (2 Cor. 13:1) It is only proper for us to provide the opportunity to the one who is being spoken of, or accused, to provide his side of the story.

Life has demonstrated far too many times that stories and accounts that are passed on from one to another are usually distorted to some degree. It is for this reason that things need to be confirmed in the mouth of two or three “witnesses,” not “reporters.” Usually the story is distorted in accordance with the physical distance the report has traveled, or by the number of people who have repeated it.

We will save a lot of embarrassment, and possibly damage to an individual or group when we take the time to confirm what we hear. While, at times, this may not always be possible, or needed if two or three witness confirm it, we should be careful in passing on information or taking decisive action without getting the other side of the story