The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

Last week a teacher's phone was stolen from his office, so my friend and I decided to play around and act as a detective to look for this missing phone. We were asking people if they knew anything about it. The teacher found out who it was yesterday some way or another. Today I come into my dorm room and the boy who stole it blames me for snitching on him! I don't know why he thinks it, but apparantly he's had people come up to him and tell him that it was me who snitched. He has to behave or he'll get kicked out of the school, so he can't really beat me up or anything. All day I've had to put up with "Why did you snitch?", "Did you snitch?" and "I'm not talking to you, snitch!" I really don't want to go to school tomorrow, and I don't want to tell anyone either because that will make it a hundred times worse. The boy who stole the phone does seem pretty annoyed about it.

This kind of thing has happened last year, too. I was in a class and this kid comes up to the door, distracting the class. The teacher says "Who was that? What was his name?" and without thinking I blurt out his name! Later people were warning me to run and never look back. I went home all worried about the next day. When I arrive to class the next day, the person asked "Did you snitch?" and all that rubbish. I say "No, I said another name!" which seemed to work and it all ended there.

But this time, it's a bigger thing to snitch on, and he will probably get into a lot of trouble for it. I have a feeling this will drag on into the next few days. Do you think it'll stop and it'll be forgotten about? I did try and explain what really happened, but he didn't believe me. It seems quite a lot of people know. I don't know what to do tomorrow! Help!

I do have quite a lot of friends. They all believe me.


Answer

First, how you handled the problem last year was wrong because you told a lie to cover up what you did. All lying is wrong (Revelation 21:8). The proper way to have handled it was to say, "I wasn't thinking when the teacher asked who interrupted the class. I'm sorry that my carelessness got you in trouble."

In regard to the current situation, you need to first remember that the reason this boy is in trouble is because he stole from a teacher. You didn't cause this. He got caught, but he doesn't see his stealing as wrong. He thinks getting caught was the problem; therefore, he is looking for someone else to blame for his own problems. Likely it won't matter what you say to him, he won't accept what you say because it would leave him no one but himself to blame, and he won't face the truth.

There is a line from Shakespeare's Macbeth that captures the problem: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks." When a person protests strongly and repeatedly that he didn't do something, people have a tendency to think that he is lying. You don't have to defend yourself -- you didn't do anything wrong. Willingly admit that you were asking around about the missing phone, and then mention that you were a poor detective because the case was solved before you figured out what had happened. The problem is when you just assert that you didn't tell on this boy, all you have is your word. Someone who lies always believes other people lie, so there is no reason for him to believe you. What speaks louder than your words are your actions. If you stay home, your actions will tell others that you feel guilty.

The best thing you can do is just drop the subject and go on. If someone asks you if you snitched, just say you couldn't have because you didn't know who did it until the boy accused you have snitching on him. Some will believe you, others won't, but you can't force people to change their minds. Once this boy gets past his punishment, the incidence will be forgotten.