Entertaining Accusation

Jon Burgess


“Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.” 1 Timothy 5:19 NIV


Paul is giving some very sage advice to his protege Timothy to help him in shepherding his people well and preserving relationships. His instruction regarding an accusation against an elder is brilliant. "Timothy, slow the process down when someone is accusing one of your leaders. Don't jump to conclusions. Don't take it at face value. There are two sides to every story. This leader on your team has had to bring correction and instructions which is often followed by accusation because people don't want to hear it. A leader is not above corrections, but it must be based on fact rather then hearsay, gossip or out of offense."


The problem with today's fast paced, social media driven, sound byte culture is that we have become judge, jury and executioner before all of the facts have been heard. There's no slowing down when it comes to entertaining accusations because we are entertained by accusations. It's called click bait and we fall for it all the time. This pastor slept around, this leader embezzled money, this elder lied about his healing, this pastor plagarized material for his book, etc. The media knows it doesn't have to be all true, it just has to be salacious and satisfying to our hunger for more gossip and slander. We click on it because it confirms the cynicism that has been growing in our hearts that all leaders are corrupt and self-serving. We don't take time to talk the leader themselves because if it's on the internet it has to be true right? Are Christian leaders perfect? Of course not! All of those click bait headlines I listed have actually happened. I listed them because I just took them at face value and never took the time to dig deeper and find out the whole story. What led to these sins? What can I learn from them? How can I pray for them? How were they misrepresented in the media? I never took time to separate fact from fiction with these famous leaders and their headlines. When I am quick to judge I will be quickly judged. How much more so must we do due diligence with a leader in our own church or in our city before we simply write them off?


I have been falsely accused before and so longed for the folks who believed these falsehoods to simply talk to me so I could tell the truth. Forgive me for doing the same to others Lord. Forgive me for giving in to the wagging finger sensational headlines and for being entertained by the accusation of others. Proverbs 24:17 instructs: "Do not rejoice when your enemies fall; don't be happy when they stumble." How much more so should I treat those who are leading by my side in these tumultuous days with honor and respect? I will slow down and hear the whole truth before making sweeping decisions based on half truths.

Devotions for June 23

2 Kings 10
2 Chronicles 22,23
1 Timothy 5

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