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September 15, 2008

Every story has two of them. We are often thrust into the middle of situations where we only get one side of the story. Ever been there? Have you ever heard one side and thought how could the other person be so mean and uncaring? How can they do something so rude and despicable? That is usually what happens when you get one side of a story.

My education taught me that you never want to get in the middle of a story without getting both sides. I was trained to only discuss something if you can get all parties in the room. Get both sides of any story no matter how ugly and bad one seams. Don’t take sides, you are the Pastor for everyone and don’t let anyone get you in the middle of an argument or problem.

That last one is something that often happens to ministers. A person comes looking for help. Pastors want to help. They have a problem and they want to confide in the minister. They tell them something and then ask if they could go to the other person to help deal with the problem. Sounds really good until you go to the other person and that person says that isn’t how it happened at all. You end up stuck and often times you go with the first person’s story because you heard it first, not because it is the most accurate.

Both sides usually aren’t. Each is self serving and so each leaves out important incriminating details. Details that will only come out if you have both sides of the story in the same room.

No, stay away from being stuck in the middle of a dispute unless both sides will agree to talk about it together. To be honest this is a great idea but often what happens to me is the sides won’t come together, neither usually wants to deal with their exaggerated self serving story. They would rather hold on to their martyr complex that it was all the other persons fault.

No, a peace of advice, don’t try to be the hero, don’t’ think you will fix everything, stay out of the middle or from taking sides, remember there are two sides to every story.

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