When You're Accused
"Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate. "You have said so," Jesus replied. The chief priests accused him of many things. So again Pilate asked him, "Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of?" But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. Mark 15:2–5, NIV
I couldn’t be more excited. After working with teenage mothers for years, I decided to write a book to help them. I couldn’t travel the country and personally help each young mother as I wanted to, but I hoped my words—in a small way—could do that for me.
After the book was published, I e-mailed out a sample chapter to a group of young moms I had met online. For some reason, they assumed I’d stolen quotes from their online chats without permission. They accused me of many things and didn’t listen when I tried to explain that the moms I had quoted had known about the project, saw how their words were being used, and had approved.
After a few days of trying to explain myself, I was encouraged to keep silent. “You can talk until you’re blue in the face but their minds are already set,” an adviser told me.
It’s hard when others accuse you. Our first reaction is to deny people’s claims and try to explain what really happened. We want others to know we are right. We want to be justified, but sometimes that doesn’t happen.
Jesus understood that no matter what He said or how much He tried to explain, Pilate wouldn’t understand. Pilate’s mind was focused on an earthly kingdom. Jesus’ mind was on a final solution to the problem of sin and on a heavenly reign.
Jesus not defending himself got Pilate’s attention. Jesus did have a point to prove, but He didn’t do it with words. He did it by walking to the cross and spreading His arms wide.
Even though I’ll never be a fraction as blameless as Jesus, I can follow His example. I can speak words that will share hope with others when it’s needed, and I can stand silent during times when nothing I can say will change a disbelieving heart.
FAITH STEP: The next time someone doesn’t believe you, don’t allow an argument to erupt. Instead follow Jesus’ example—be silent and allow your actions to speak louder than your words.
Contributed by Tricia Goyer