Proverbs 25:8-10 (ESV)
What your eyes have seen
8 do not hastily bring into court,
for what will you do in the end,
when your neighbor puts you to shame?
9 Argue your case with your neighbor himself,
and do not reveal another’s secret,
10 lest he who hears you bring shame upon you,
and your ill repute have no end.
Although one may have witnessed what she believes to be a wrongdoing, she may have only part of the puzzle and falsely accuse the innocent. The witness will look foolish when it becomes evident that she failed to get the entire story, and instead jumped to conclusions rooted in her negative opinion of others. Furthermore, if it turns out that she made the charges because of a personal dispute, it will become obvious that the accuser should have sought to make peace with her neighbor on her own without involving others, preventing disgrace in the community. Do you “have the dirt” on someone else in your family, circle of friends, or church? The godly woman will refrain from letting others know while working to reconcile with her neighbor herself. In the end, the community remembers the unjust way the event was handled rather than the charges themselves. Work things out privately, sparing the watching world from your personal drama.