rules for a preacher circa 1888, rule 4

Rule 4: “Believe evil of no one without good evidence, unless you see it done take heed how you credit it.  Put the best construction on everything.  You know the judge is always supposed to be on the prisoner’s side.”

 Guilty as charged.  I’m not sure about you but I find this rule very difficult. People can be hard to trust and I’ve been in youth ministry a long time.  I know when people are lying through their teethe.  However, ministers of the gospel cannot appear to be un-redemptive in their character or conduct.  I don’t think we can afford to look naive either.  The bottom line is that the preacher needs to maintain integrity in situations when it is far to easy to take sides.

I love the idea, “put the best construction on everything.”  To me this means to handle each situation with grace and to not assume anything of anybody.  The bottom line is that the preacher needs to maintain a seat at the table to speak Biblical truth into the lives of the members of the church.  The preacher who shows everything in a negative light will likely lose their congregation, or have an overly negative congregation.

The idea that the Judge is always on the prisoners’ side is reminiscent of Christ redeeming a world that sinful from birth.  A world that is filled with unredeemed good people.  Jesus was on their side. The tax collector, the prostitute, the adulterer and the drunkard, Jesus came for them.  Jesus came for us.  How great it is to always keep this in perspective. This is a perspective that a preacher can never afford to lose.


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