When do you know it’s the right time to keep your mouth shut; when something is simply not your business?
When do you linger so close to what may be considered gossip that you find yourself looking for numbers of people you have not spoken to in months, perhaps years because you’re not sure what to do with what you know?
What you think you know. What you’re not sure you know. You know?
How do you look someone in the face when they tell you something that, in your mind, your heart, you simply cannot believe, you refuse to believe and give them the advice their seeking.. “You MUST be mistaken. It has to be someone else. It’s a scam.” Is what you want to say. But you know how that sounds.
But there’s a photo. Evidence. A cosmic “gotcha.” What now?
What do you do when part of you, a large part of you, believes what you’ve been told. Not because you know the person their talking about or trust the person that told you but because your gut, your base instinct, is screaming that the only possible answer is the one that you do not want to believe; the one that would ruin families, destroy ministries and crush the hearts of by-standers?
How do you know when to act and when hold your tongue?
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS
The Bible is pretty clear on what you should do in this situation. In First Timothy, Paul says:
“Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning (1TIM. 5:19-20 NIV).”
Seems pretty clear to me and it makes me sad. To think that I may have the responsibility to bring this sort of thing to light. It make me sick to even think about it. But Paul’s words are pretty clear.
But before you run off and accuse someone of something – anything remember Proverbs 19:20 says:
“Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end (KJV).”
I think you have an obligation to seek out someone that can give a fresh perspective. Someone not tied directly to the situation. Am I that person? Maybe, in another situation. I feel though that, in this case, I have a bigger obligation. One that scares me. An obligation to do more than dispense advice.