I am an optimist by nature, and I like to believe what people tell me. After 54 years on planet Earth, I’ve had a few things chip away at that naiveté. For instance, back in the day when O.J. Simpson was accused of murdering his wife and waiter Ronald Goldman, I thought there was no way he could be guilty. He was a football icon, for heaven’s sake. How could he have done something so terrible?
Well, apparently I was wrong. My faith in humanity took a huge dip. Recently, I have been confronted by the arrest of Bill Cosby, an entertainer whose work I have loved over many, many years. I have read differing points of view: some people say it’s about race, some think the women accusing him only want notoriety and money, others think he’s an evil person. He hasn’t been convicted, of course, but why would so many women lie?
Then there’s Woody Allen and Ben Roethlisberger and Jameis Winston. I’m sure I could name more. Who’s telling the truth?
Did you know that Tim Tebow travels with a small entourage all the time so that he’s never alone? Not only does he want the accountability, he wants there to be no opportunity for anyone to accuse him of anything, because there is always a witness.
My daughter is reading Chuck Colson’s book Born Again for school and I’ve been reading along with her, sometimes to her because it’s so complicated, and I am seeing that not everything you read in the media is right. Go figure. We complain now about a biased media, but they sure were biased back in the 70’s as well. There was so much going on behind the scenes in Washington during the whole Watergate scandal, but apparently many of the inflammatory headlines were completely fabricated. Rumors fly so freely, especially in this day of the internet, that separating truth from fiction is very difficult. Anyone can say something about someone and suddenly it’s gospel truth.
Even a solid track record doesn’t guarantee a hero won’t fall. Everyone is vulnerable. But we also know that people have been accused falsely, like Chuck Colson was. So how do we know?
I don’t believe being suspicious of everyone is the answer. The Bible tells us to be discerning, (1 Kings 3:9 for one: “So give Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, to discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?”), and that comes only through prayer. God alone knows the truth when it comes down to he said/she said. It’s not our job to determine who’s lying unless we’re on a jury. Our job is to pray, to share the gospel, and to love those who have fallen because but for the grace of God, there would we be as well.
image from NTK.com—Don’t believe a word they say