You have heard the old saying, “Two birds with one stone.” How about, “Two mouths with one truth?”
Did you know that the truth is established in the mouths of two or three witnesses? So often in life one person may speak a “so-called” truth about us into our lives and we actually believe it. It is not the truth unless it is confirmed by two or three. If it is not confirmed, then it is a lie. We allow this “lie” to be the “truth” in our heart even though it was not established.
“But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more,
that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”
From tips to resolving conflict between children on the playground to resolving hurtful words aimed at you or your family, there are truths that come only by hearing.
Resolving Conflict among Children…
If you are blessed to have children, you have had to figure out ways to resolve conflict when the voices raise and fingers start pointing. Children tattle. They just do. They will tell you what happened from their perspective. Many parents will take the word of one and run with it. Years ago, I had such a mess on my hands while trying to help another mother out. I taught her children school for a time so that she could be off in some sort of ministry. There were many times that conflict would arise between all the children.
I learned some time ago, from a wise mother, to establish truth with young conflict. It was tricky with this family because if you did not resolve the conflict they would go tell mama a different story and then mama would call me and ream me out. I would be defenseless because she accepted her child’s account and believed her child would never lie.
Parents make a huge mistake if they think that children do not lie to protect themselves at times. We teach them from little on not to lie, but fear will cause even the sweetest child to deny a charge. When put on the spot, I have seen some of the most righteously raised children, whom you would never think could tell a lie, lie through their teeth. If you just accept their testimony without digging deeper, that child may realize they can easily get out of trouble. Their entire lifetime can be a series of lies. It can become a habit. Do not misunderstand me. I am not talking about abusive situations where a child is being assaulted and taken advantage of. That is a completely different matter. One I can address at a later time. I am talking about playground squabbles. I am talking about when a child comes in crying because another child did something mean.
It never mattered to me who was telling the tail on either side. I did not favor one over the other. My children’s hearts and souls mattered so if they were guilty of doing the wrong thing, I never took their side. I tried to keep the playground a level field. For some reason, I have found, that it is extremely difficult for mothers to keep it a level field. I am not sure if it boarders a prideful heart that does not want to admit that their perfectly trained child is lying or if they just do not want to deal with matters because they are indifferent.
The tip I learned was to line up every child and hear everyone. Like a little mini court trial. That way you can find out what really happened. When these children were in my care, I could always resolve conflict easily. One time an argument broke out after the boys were having a snowball fight. What happens when they do that? Someone always gets hurt. They all asked if they could have a snowball fight and I said, “Yes, but you have to go in knowing that you could get a snowball in the face or get hurt because that is the nature of a snowball fight.” My youngest got nailed in the face, which is to be expected, and he became angry, took a shirt off the ground that belonged to that boy and smashed it in the cow manure to get him back for hitting him in the face with the snowball. We lined them all up. All the boys had their chance to tell their story. We had witnesses to confirm it. Case closed. Junior was guilty.
I told the neighbor boy that he could have been more careful, but I understand that things like this happen in a snowball fight. Junior was wrong to try to get back at that boy. Junior had to make it right, of course!!! He had to clean the shirt by hand and if it could not look new again, it had to be replaced. I loved seeing him make it right because I knew it was teaching him a life lesson. You can’t ruin other people’s property unless you are prepared to fix it or replace it.
“One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin,
in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses,
shall the matter be established.”
The bible teaches us this from the beginning. There are always two sides to any story. When the matter is not taken care of quickly and painlessly, such as this, you can have another scenario happen. If there is enough time for children to conspire and team up on lies, it can be disastrous.
There was one time that stands out in my mind. My two daughters were at the creek with a friend and one of the boys was trying to show off in front of all the boys and stole a shoe off and threw the shoe into a patch of poison ivy. It was a new pair of shoes we had boughten at a time where money was scarce. The only problem was that the children ran off home to mama before we could resolve it. That was a recipe for disaster. I would never get the opportunity to establish the truth if they ran off to conspire together.
The phone call came and it was a crazy story. They had actually managed to have her mad at us for another reason because they were upset. I had a group of witnesses to testify yet the mother was not willing to believe that her child would do such a thing. Later, I figured out a way to obtain a confession and the girl said she lied for her brother because that is what she felt was the right thing to do. To stick up for your family even in a lie. She saw it as the greatest form of loyalty. I could not reach her heart because that habit was so ingrained. I had many stories where these two would team up. Even though it was two stories, they had figured out how to stand together in lies. That is the saddest part because they were not doing them or their family any great service just by getting off on a particular crime.
In most situations, I had taught my children to seek to resolve conflict. They learned that if I had to be involved, I would find the truth. Even if it meant they would be in trouble. I have lived long enough to have surrounded myself with two different types of families. Those that let children be children and try to let them resolve their own conflicts and those that get involved to protect their children from every offense. It is so difficult to be around families like that. When the children have learned how to get their parents involved to defend them. She is like a mama bear, roaring at other moms for every little thing. It becomes a drug to them. They love seeing their mama yell at the other parents and make a big scene. I have seen these kids high on it, just smiling behind their mama’s shadow.
If someone says something mean to you, the same applies.
“Every matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
1 Corinthians 13:1
How many times have you had someone come up to you and say something about you or your family that was unkind? Some people judge you and it is out of jealousy most times. They say this little thing to make a little stab at you or your character.
Listen. You do not have to accept it.
It is not true if it is not established. I have so many times in my life took harmful words from others about myself or my family to heart when it was never confirmed. I have wasted so many hours crying or feeling depressed over someones words. Time is precious and if we allow an offense to hurt us, that time is gone forever. Yet it is our choice when we allow this. A word which takes a minute to say can pierce our heart like a sword and leave us wounded for days if not a lifetime. Sadly this is true. We can get offended. An open offense that is not confirmed by another witness is like an open wound that will never heal and turn into the biggest form of bitter scarring.
This is a SIMPLE but profound truth from God. We can stand on His word.
I have had to tell myself after reading in John this past week, that if someone speaks a word to you, it is NOT true unless it were confirmed by the word of God. If His word does not proclaim this truth about me it is not true. If no other witness came to me about this matter, it must be that ONE person’s opinion. Since I did not have another mouth there to confirm this ‘so called’ truth about me, I have to mark it up as a lie and overlook the words so that I do not allow those words to define me or my family.
People often do not realize how they come across anyhow. They think they are helping and being like a holy spirit in your life. You can rest assured that they have not walked long enough in your shoes to understand you the way that God can. The only righteous judge is God. Remember that. If we let certain people be the judge we would be in serious trouble. I get misunderstood daily. People do not know your thoughts, intentions, and feelings. It is a complex thing to cast judgement when you do not understand such things as these.
When you point a finger at a person, you are giving them a license to judge you back. When a person starts picking at me, I always get that itch to compare myself to them. I look for hypocrisy and all the things they might have done wrong. “Two wrongs do not make a right!” It should not be right to get on your high horse when someone rises up on theirs first, but it somehow works out that way.
“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
I pray these little nuggets of truth will uplift you today. If this post has been helpful or you have anything to share, please post your comments below. I am always happy to hear from you! God Bless your day!