25 Excuses for not Telling the Truth When Scandal Visits

  1. This situation doesn’t concern my department.
  2. I’m sure the pastors and Elders are on it.
  3. Talking about this might be gossip.
  4. I could lose my job.
  5. I might not get the scholarship.
  6. This could jeopardize my book deal.
  7. This could affect my future pay.
  8. This could mess up future potential promotions.
  9. I don’t want to lose a speaking engagement.
  10. I could negatively influence my radio program/podcast/blog.
  11. I might lose friends over this.
  12. We don’t have all the facts.
  13. I don’t want to look like a “pot stirrer.”
  14. I should just be concerned about the gospel.
  15. My job is to just preach the Word and let the Holy Spirit convict sin.
  16. Telling the truth could really hurt the people involved.
  17. This could split the church.
  18. We should talk about the good things God is doing instead.
  19. Telling the truth would mean picking a side or choosing between friends.
  20. I don’t want to cause division.
  21. Love the sinner hate the sin.
  22. I could ruin their reputation.
  23. God will punish the sinner so I don’t need to.
  24. Haven’t they been through enough?
  25. The perpetrator is such an important person and I don’t want to challenge them.


  • The one thing each of these 25 excuses have in common is: self-interest. This is what leads to cowardice and compromise. I have seen this over and over within the secondary ranks of leadership, both in the church and in Christian organizations. These self-interested individuals become enablers of the corrupt leadership at the top. In most organizations, the only barriers to tyranny are a handful of principled individuals.

    • Great observation! What often appears as strength is really cowardice and compromise. So many of Jesus’ imperatives call us to self-sacrifice and to reject self-interest. We need more “Take up your cross” kinds of leaders. That means being willing to put truth above ones career.

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