He that is first….

The Justice  system here in the United States, is based on the Ancient Roman Republic, in structure.  But its basis for specifically being allowed to face your accuser (no anonymous tips are allowed in a court of law), and to be cross-examined (so his side of the story doesn’t merely stand on its own) is based on Proverbs 18:17 “He that is first in his own cause seemeth just;  but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him.” (kjv).  In a more current vernacular: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (esv)

See, the justice system in this country cares about , well, justice.  Hearsay is not allowed, and in fact if it is not actually true (as in- only his perception of events and not the whole truth) it can be called slander and is prosecutable.

The Media does *not* care as much about justice, as about revenue.  They want to not be in trouble for libel, so they check their sources and facts.  But it is fairly clear that most media is very biased toward a liberal slant (to the extent they nearly touch the ground in many cases).  They control, to a large degree, what the country thinks about things.  This then controls their actions.

Many people do not recognize the difference between a factual piece and an opinion piece.  We need to understand where our “news” or “facts” come from.  Are they from Joe anybody on YouTube, or a blog or editorial place where people can say anything and publish it, making you believe the news is true?  If you come across an odd sounding story, do you run it through “Snopes.com” before you just buy into it?

Maybe you do none of those things.  But do you listen to someone complain about someone else, sometimes even as they “ask for prayer” so they can “handle them”?  Do you just buy into it, passing it on to others?  Do you treat the victim differently without even going to them to ask for their perception of events, and instead mentally file it into the “sounds like them” category (sometimes based on the last thing you listened to and believed without checking into it).  Do you “get concerned” and embellish it just a little so your slanderous gossip sounds holy and good?   Are we more like the justice system or the media?

The Holy Spirit will give us grace to forgive others.  But if we have told a few more folks and they buy into it, taking on the offense for you, they don’t receive that same grace to forgive.  I have seen people still hanging on to a grudge that was not theirs to hold for years after the original angry one had forgotten about it.

These seem like simple things.  Why are they not practiced in that simple way?

“The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him.” Proverbs 18:17 (niv)