A truthful lie

The truth gets off here.Proverbs 18:17
Any story sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight.
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I’ve been fooled. I listened to one side of a story and because I trusted and respected the person, I believed what they told me was accurate. “They wouldn’t lie to me”, I reasoned. However, experience has taught me even mature Christians often present a side which “sounds true until someone tells the other side and sets the record straight.”

With an arrogant attitude she informed me, “My Dad refused to sign the disciplinary notice and he said he doesn’t care what you do about it.” I was principal of a Christian school and the high school girl had been brought to my office. I felt a twinge of anger rising up at Dad’s refusal to cooperate. We were bending over backwards to help get his daughter on the right path and he was refusing to cooperate. I called him but … I had been coached to always go into these conversation like a cat, gently. You can always turn into a bear later if you have to but start quietly, calmly. (Proverbs 15:1, 25:15)

“Hello, Mr. Roberts, Julia said you refused to sign her disciplinary note.”

“That’s right”, he snapped back angrily. “She always waits til I’m dropping her off at school to show me these things so I can’t discipline her for it. So, this morning, I told her I was not going to sign it and I didn’t care what you do to her for not getting it signed. She deserves it.”

Julia told us the truth – her dad refused to sign and did not care what we did about it – but it sure sounded different coming from him. Someone told “the other side and set the record straight”.

Even the “truth” can be manipulated, twisted and used deceptively. Like the famous story of the First Mate who entered this truthful statement in the ship’s log, “The Captain was sober today.” It was”true” but the “other side” is that the Captain never drank and was sober every day.

The point is, we need to think the best of people. That is what love does. And when we hear only one side of a story we need to be careful to not assume we know the facts no matter how reliable the source. There is always another side and often “the other side .. sets the record straight”.
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Proverbs 14:15
Only a simpleton believes everything he’s told! A prudent man understands the need for proof.

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