Today's encouragement comes from Proverbs 18:17, which says this:
"The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him."
This verse reminds us that it is always prudent to check out both sides of a story, before drawing any conclusions. Tale-bearers and slanderers can sound quite convincing, until the full picture comes into view. Our flesh nature is too inclined to hear what it wants to hear; and sometimes we get humbled by the truth.
If we were to listen only to those who hate Christ, where would any of us be today? Thankfully, by God's grace, we have been able to discern the "rest of the story," which renders Jesus lovely to us (in the church).
[Puritan quote of the day: "There is a sanctified use of all troubles to God's children.” —Richard Sibbes, in, "The Soul's Conflict with Itself"]