From the horse’s mouth
Acts 25: 22 “Then Agrippa said to Festus, “I would like to hear this man myself.” He replied, “Tomorrow you will hear him.”
We have a phrase that we use in Britain to indicate you are getting information from the closest source, “straight from the horse’s mouth”. It comes from the horse racing industry where the punters are trying to find out which horses are in best form. Of course they could ask the trainers or the stable boys who look after the horse, those who are on the inner circle. But “from the horse’s mouth’” is supposed to indicate there is a closer step than even the inner circle, that is to ask the horse itself, a strange thought I agree!
Agrippa wasn’t content to hear about the trial case from Festus, he wanted to hear from Paul. He wanted to know Paul’s view on things, on what he was being accused of, on his beliefs.
How often we can just take what people say about someone as gospel truth. Yet we forget or we don’t have time to seek out the person concerned to hear their story. We hear from the trainer but not the horse. We focus on facts and not intention, matter not motives and actions above attitudes. That is why we often make wrong judgments. Facts, matter and actions may result in the person being in the wrong but intention, motives and attitudes reveal why they got themselves in that predicament in the first place. As we walk the fine line of righteousness and grace we need to know what people in general leave out of the story telling. They do it because we don’t have time for the full story, we want the headlines and the bare detail not the reasoning.
Why not gear yourself up to always say “I want to hear it from the horse’s mouth”? Make time to speak to the person concerned and more importantly hear from them.