Consider the Source
If you can’t trust the messenger, you won’t trust the message
He seems like a nice enough guy, but I think he’s lying through his teeth.” Have you ever thought or said that? (God forbid anybody has ever thought or said it about you.)
Telling the truth has always been a challenge. Even when we intend to be truthful, we find opportunities and temptations to do otherwise. And, even if we don’t tell bald-faced lies, we are inclined to think bending the truth or telling half-truths or “white lies” (which have the same effect as black ones) is probably okay.
What’s at stake? Our credibility. Our trustworthiness. Our reputation.
Once I believe you’re less than forthcoming, I’m less inclined to trust you — about anything. That has enormous implications for our relationships, and how we try to live together in a society.
In the newspaper business we have a special concern about truth. Sources need to be trustworthy. We who disseminate news and information need to be equally worthy of trust. When I hear stories, or receive information, I find myself thinking, “Consider the source.” Does this person have a reputation for telling the truth? If so, I’m inclined to pay attention. If not, I’m more likely to wonder how much credence I can put in what I hear.
There’s more to it. Sometimes sources are known for slanting their information. If the individual has an axe to grind, I need to be aware of that. If someone is carrying a grudge, it’s going to shape and color what they say.
We are keenly aware that its readers want to be able to trust Metro Lutheran for information. That’s why we have committed ourselves to telling the Lutheran story — and Lutheran stories — without bias, without an axe to grind, without a point of view. If readers think they see us doing otherwise, they need to say so — to us directly.
Some readers do this from time to time. We take all the challenges seriously. Some we dismiss because they don’t hold much water. But some serve as good correctives for us.
Truth is not optional for Christians.