Responding to false accusations

2c80b-newyear2013goalsandresolutionsMost people experience false accusations at some time or another.

It could begin as a child when a brother or sister blames you for something you didn’t do.

False charges also can be more evil and vicious. This happens when others slander us to bring us down and advantage themselves. It is typically true that people will be more often targeted for slander when they are more visible or successful.

You’re not alone

It is helpful to remember that our Lord was no stranger to false charges. He was repeatedly wrongfully accused by jealous people.

During Jesus’ so-called religious and political trials, “many brought false witness against him” (Mark 14). They said, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King” “We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands.”

Follow the Lord’s example

“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed” (I Peter 2:23-24).

The words in this verse “he entrusted himself” are in the present tense, indicating that Jesus (kept on) entrusting himself to him who judges justly.”

This is an insight from the scene at the crucifixion of Jesus that is not as evident in the gospel accounts.

Jesus was not treating lightly the false accusations but entrusting justice to the Judge of all the earth.

God is quite capable of being our strong defense (Psalm 62:1-8) and we must be careful not to play God by taking matters into our own hands (see- Romans 12:17-21).

Another example

When the apostle Paul was viciously accused of many things, he had no desire to engage in self-defense but was compelled to do so for the spiritual well-being of others.

When he defended himself before the Church of Corinth, out of uncomfortable necessity he exposed the false charges because the Church he founded allowed themselves to be swayed against the apostle by detractors who selfishly wanted to shift the loyalties of the Church to themselves. 

Sometimes we must engage in the uncomfortable necessity of defending ourselves when personal attacks against us are aimed at hurting others. When in this kind of situation, we need wisdom and grace to respond to personal attacks for the protection of others. 

Truths to protect you

  1. The police use a phrase when training officers – “Don’t taker the bait and escalate.” Sometimes antagonistic people will try to bait you into defending yourself against false charges. Guard yourself from these kinds of distractions. Remind yourself that it really isn’t about you in the ultimate sense.
  2. Remain humble in a willingness to acknowledge your sin. Or, take on a gospel-shaped posture. I think of the words of John Bunyan, “He who is down need fear no fall.” The late Martyn Lloyd Jones described the person who is poor in spirit as one “who is truly amazed that God and men would think of him and treat him as well as they do.” We tend that people should treat us better than they do!
  3. Stand with the Psalmist in confessing (each day) God “does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:10-12).

When these truths are kept close to our hearts, we will embrace the reality of our own sinfulness and the need for God’s mercy (Titus 3:1-6). This will help to protect us from angry reactions to those who wrongly accuse us. 

Steve Cornell

This entry was posted in Broken Relationships, Conflict, Confrontation, Criticism, Cross of Christ, Death of Christ, Difficult people, Discernment, False accusation, Forgiveness, Slandered, Wisdom and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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