Have you ever been falsely accused? Psalm 27:12 talks about the pain of this experience: "For false witnesses have risen against me, and they breathe out violence."
Perhaps it was an innocent mistake, the result of someone lacking to do proper research. But maybe it was a premeditated and malicious set-up -- someone blaming you to get ahead or to crush you.
Either way, if you've ever been falsely accused, you know that your mind and heart swirl with different emotions. Here are 5 reactions that I've had, sometimes all simultaneously:
- You doubt yourself, allowing the lies of your human enemy (and the spiritual Enemy) to pull your identity away from Christ.
- You're paralyzed by fear of man, haunted by the soiled reputation you're convinced you will now carry around forever.
- You're tormented with regret, and you wish for the power to rewind time so you can set up protective boundaries to prevent any possibility of this happening.
- You're enraged, and you want to go on the warpath to exact vengeance on your accuser.
- You immediately transform into a defense attorney, coming up with things to say and do that could potentially restore your reputation.
All of these responses are natural and important, but today, I don't want to talk about how to solve our false accusation dilemmas. Rather, there's something more significant to discuss. Here it is: in suffering, many of us are tempted to falsely accuse our Lord.
Most of the time, we probably do it unknowingly or under our breath. But we still do it. "If God really loved me and understood what I was going through, he would / wouldn't ... [fill in the blank]"
This is a false accusation against our Savior. He does love us. He came to earth with a willing spirit, knowing the exact cruelties, injustices and false accusations that he would face. Passages like Isaiah 53 give us a window into the depth of the love of Christ.
And our Lord does understand. Hebrews 4:14-5:3 tells us that he sympathizes because he walked in our shoes. Don't tell yourself that you're alone and that your trouble is unique. He suffered as we suffer so that he would be able to offer us grace that's appropriate to our time of need.
Yes, it does sting to be falsely accused. It may even be devastating. But in these moments, fight the temptation to falsely accuse your Savior.
He knew false accusations were in his future, and he came regardless. Because he loves you.
- When you were falsely accused, how did you respond? What did that reveal about your heart?
- When you suffer, is your natural tendency to run to God or from God? How so?
- How can encourage another brother or sister if they are falsely accused?