There is a big difference between facts, gossip, innuendo and assumptions. The facts can be verified. The other three are hearsay and often if not usually wrong. Yet it is very easy to assume that the latter three are "facts" and many do.
I have seen a number of situations recently where there was circulation of information that was heavy on gossip, innuendo and assumptions but the facts were in short supply. Why? Because those circulating the information did not have first hand information - only what they had heard or assumptions they had made. Or, they had taken what they heard and made assumptions about motives and what the "truth" was.
Such is the destruction of many relationships and the root of much conflict in organizations and churches. Not truth that we are sure of but rather gossip, innuendo and assumptions that "we are sure of" and feel free to share with others. Who wins? Not Jesus who is full of grace and truth but the Evil One who is the father of all lies.
Even facts can be interpreted wrongly if we assume wrong motives. All facts are suspect if we assume there is a bad agenda behind them. Again, we must be careful as to what motivation we attribute because it is very hard to judge motivations. We can make statements about behaviors but rarely about the motivations behind the behaviors.
All of us ought to be wary of information that we don't know to be true. And even then we ought to be wary of judging the motivations behind the "facts." If we get either wrong we may well be playing into the hand of the Evil One.
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