If you only hear one side of the story, then you’re not thinking. We were glad when a new couple began to visit our church for several weeks. The husband had been in a rock band before he trusted Christ as his Savior. Now he and his wife were excited to be coming out to church.

But suddenly this family stopped coming. When I found out why they had left our church, I was deeply saddened. Someone in our church told this couple that I had exaggerated the number of people who came to one of our events. They believed this person and never came back.

There are two things which went wrong here. First of all, the couple which left our church did not bother to talk with me about the claim made by my church member. If they had asked some more questions, they might still be in our church today.

Second, the person from my church who planted the negative thought in the minds of the newcomers was wrong for spreading discord. That person will be held responsible for hindering this couple’s spiritual growth.

Bad news spreads like wildfire, and it’s every bit as destructive. It destroys everything in its path. This should make us think twice before spreading it. When we hear bad news about someone else, the best thing we can do is go back to the object of the discussion. That will keep the person being talked about from getting hurt, and it will keep the news from spreading and hurting other people.

There are two sides to every story. Have you been reacting to news you have heard without trying to get the full story? This is very easy to do. It’s also very wrong and can be very hurtful. Learn to think before you react to information. Don’t just blindly accept everything you hear as truth, but ask questions. Get all the details about a situation before you jump to conclusions, or you will end up hurting yourself and the people you care about the most.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder