{"devotional":{"title":"Dec 18 Do not accept an accusation against an elder","content":"

\"dec-18-1ti5-19-two-witnesses\"<\/a>1 Tim 5:19, \"Do not accept an accusation~|<\/span><\/span> <\/b><\/i>against an elder unless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses.\"<\/i><\/p>\r\nMinisters are always open to criticism, especially when they exhort people to change their habits, culture, or behavior. Unfortunately, many have the tendencies of proverbial fools, as indicated by their eagerness to accuse vulnerable leaders: \u201cAvoiding a fight is a mark of honor; only fools insist on quarreling<\/i>\u201d (Prov 20:3NLT<\/sup>).

Every major leader in Scripture suffered false accusations from people seeking to discredit him. Trust is built on credibility and integrity. If a person can be discredited by an accusation, whether true or false, his integrity becomes suspect and his ministry can be destroyed. Because of this delicate trust, great care and discernment must be exercised when a leader\u2019s integrity is questioned.

The command in 1 Timothy 5:19 is to \u201cstop accepting an accusation<\/i>,\u201d which means not \u201cto entertain or consider it in your mind.\u201d As a present negative command, it implies that they were doing this and should stop. Other leaders and the congregation must be taught how to respond to gossip, griping, and criticism. The answer is to turn a deaf ear \u201cunless it can be confirmed by two or three witnesses.\u201d

God warns His people, \u201cDo not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no<\/i> harm<\/i>\u201d (Psa 105:15). Do not treat casually the reputation of a spiritual leader unless the accusation is at least doubly confirmed. Deuteronomy 19:15 says, \u201cOne witness shall not rise against a man concerning any<\/i> iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the<\/i> matter shall be established<\/i>.\u201d Jesus said, \u201cBy the mouth of two or three witnesses<\/i> every word may be established<\/i>\u201d (Matt 18:16), and Paul quotes this passage in

2 Corinthians 13:1 when he is giving them a third warning about their sins (2 Cor 11:21).

Unsubstantiated accusations must not be tolerated; however, when confirmed by various sources, they must be seriously investigated. Without credibility, ministry to others is impossible. No one will listen to someone they do not trust. Protect each other's reputation.

\u201cWhy are we so prone to believe everything bad about a person, especially a leader? Give me the conviction to protect my leaders from gossip.\u201d<\/i>