Do You Have The Facts?

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Have you ever judged someone without knowing all the facts? Have you ever been influenced by the opinions of others? How much validity do you put in the winding grapevine? What determines your opinion about another individual? Based on the above questions, have you ever found yourself on the wrong side of the scale? Have you ever made a judgment about someone who you later found out was innocent of the human arrows of judgment?

Facts must precede judgment. Hearsay has destroyed many lives. Christians have been wounded, and some even fatally, due to publicized innuendoes and acquisitions. Opinions about people should be based on personal encounters, not on the biased viewpoints of those with limited knowledge.

Before God released His judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah, He decided to take a firsthand look at the situation. God said that He would go down to Sodom and verify if their “outcry” of wickedness was truly a depiction of their sinfulness. If it was true, He would take the necessary action. (Genesis 18:21) If God would take the time to seek the truth of a situation, should not Christians follow the same suit? (This verse is a very interesting description of how God involves Himself in the lives of individuals. He knows everything yet He desires “first-hand” involvement. This is done through “messengers” who many times take the form of angels. They are the actual extension of God’s presence. We see this demonstrated in the calling of Moses to lead God’s children out of Egypt. God told Moses that He had seen and heard the cries of His people and “I am come down to deliver them.” (Exodus 3:8) He later calls on Moses to tell His people, “I have surely visited you and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.” (Exodus 3:16) Tucked away between these verses God tells Moses, “I will send thee.” Moses becomes the messenger, who is the extension of God Himself. )

If you hear something negative and harmful about someone, should you not seek to hear the side of the accused? To accept opinions about other people, which are based on unfounded rumors, is one of the things God hates. (Proverbs 6:19) Basically, people that initiate and spread falsehoods are people that have low self-esteem. They attempt to build up their self-worth by tearing down those that would challenge their hypocrisy. Scriptures define these types of people as busybodies, false witnesses, and liars. Sadly, many of these individuals dwell within the confines of local churches.

If we have been involved in the “grapevine” of gossip, we need to ask not only for God’s forgiveness but for the forgiveness of those that we have offended through our misguided acceptance of rumored information. Maybe we could help restore a “wounded” saint through these actions.

Psalms 19: 14 is a preventative prescription for those who have a loose tongue. “Let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable in The sight O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

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