Accused

Psalm 40:2   He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

How do we respond when we are falsely accused?   Has it happened to you?  Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do but those accusing you are completely sure that you, in fact, did it and there’s no absolute way for you to prove that you didn’t?   Yeah, it’s awful.  And it’s bound to happen at some point in our lives, regardless of who we are.  So how do we respond?

Do we run at them to bash them in the face?  Do we fight verbally and defend ourselves to the end?  Do we run away and speak badly of the accuser?   Do we run away and pout?   Nope, I think not.

So often in scripture, the Lord talks about us standing.  Now granted, many times standing means holding fast to our faith and not slipping, in general, but I believe, just based on life experience, that standing applies to false accusation.   It means closing our mouth and giving it to the Lord and trusting in Him to vindicate us in such circumstances.  He can do it so much more efficiently than we can and once we muddy the waters, we can cause ourselves too much unnecessary grief.  You can only say “No I di’int” so many times.

Please allow me tell you one story. I was in Canada many years ago when I learned this lesson.   I was in a laundromat doing our laundry, in the back of the building.  There was only one other woman in the room with me, also doing her laundry.  We smiled at each other but we didn’t really speak.  We were both knee deep in suds. She was going in and out to her car with done and not done laundry.    We had both been there a while when she went into the front room and came back with the manager. He came to me and asked me to return this woman’s money.   I was like, “What’d you say?”    He explained that her money had been right there when she took some laundry back out to her car and when she came back it was gone.  I was the only one that had been in the room, truly, so of course it had to have been me.    I could feel myself getting flustered, I started praying.    The Lord was with me.  I said- “I didn’t take her money.   I’m sorry it’s missing but I didn’t take it.”  I wasn’t mean, I didn’t have an attitude.   I just said it, once, simply.   Inside I was so shaken but outside, I was calm.  He explained again that there had not been anyone else in the room so it had to have been me and I needed to return it.   Again, I stood.  I didn’t argue, I didn’t defend myself with any emotion.  I was kind and simply spoke the truth.   I said I was a Christian, that it was against my faith to both steal or lie.  I knew that that might make Christianity look bad to them but it was truth and truth doesn’t return void.   They finally dropped it, the manager went back up front and the woman left.  I felt so badly because I knew they believed 100% that I was a thief and that made me feel awful.    I prayed to the Lord for Him to make it all right, however He could possibly make that happen.  I saw no way, at all, for it to happen.  This was a strange town, a strange country, and I would never be returning to this laundromat.  But I prayed and I believed that God, in His way and in His timing would make things right.   About 20 minutes later, I was starting to leave and all of a sudden, in walked the woman.  She came to me, she was broken.  She said she’d gotten home and found her money in the bottom of one of the baskets.  At that moment I was so, so grateful that I had never been angry at her.   And I was totally blown away by God’s faithfulness to honor my request, that I would see the redemption.  She was so thrilled to tell me that she had driven all the way back just to set things right.  That was grace!

This circumstance taught me two extremely valuable lessons:

1. When someone attacks us in any way, we must stay right with God.  We get wounded only when we respond in a sinful way.   If, in the face of someone sinning against us, we STAND- we don’t go after them and we don’t run away (unless there is danger, of course)- then we will be okay emotionally.  It’s only when we lose it, too, that we will feel deeply damaged.  We may have surface wounds from the negativity coming at us but they won’t go deep if we stand on the rock that is higher than us.

2. When we are falsely accused, we must trust God for our vindication, not ourselves.   We stand.  We state the truth but we don’t necessarily need to be our own defense.  In fact, if we become our own defense, we often look more guilty.  If we are falsely accused, we state the truth in love to the best of our ability and then we wait on God to rectify the circumstance.    He is the Truth.   He can reveal the truth.   He is faithful to do so.   It has worked for me on more than one occasion.  Jesus IS our defense.

Bottom line is this.  We are accountable for our actions and reactions.  We are not accountable for other people’s actions or reactions.  If we stay in right relationship with the Lord, then we will be protected and vindicated.   We may or may not have the opportunity to see the outward vindication but we can trust that it will happen.    AND we have to forgive our accusers and walk in love.

I’m going to post a lot of scriptures again, this time on standing.     You will be surprised, perhaps, at how many there are.   Try to choose one and memorize it.   It’s good stuff!

Takeaway:  When we are falsely accused, we are to remain obedient to godliness.  We are not to move forward or backward, but we are to stand.   We are to speak the truth and remain in right relationship with the Lord.  If that relationship remains in tact, we will not lose our peace and the circumstance will not be muddied or worsened.    We are to forgive our accuser.    Be kind, be gracious, and stand on Truth. And, be willing to self-examine for any jewels that may be true, from which we can grow.

Prayer:  Dear Lord, You and You alone are the one whose opinion matters the most to me.  Please guide me to stay in right relationship FIRST with you, no matter what, and then lead my other relationships into truth.  Please protect me from false accusation and extend me grace to examine the accusations to see if there is any truth in them.     If I can take away any truth, allow me to do it in grace and not shame, and to own responsibility.   Then Lord, vindicate me of all that is not true.  You alone can do this, Lord.   I love you.

Exodus 14:13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today.

2 Chronicles 20:17  You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ ”

Psalm 20:7-8 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

Psalm 30:7 O LORD, when you favored me, you made my mountain stand firm; but when you hid your face, I was dismayed.

Psalm 33:11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Psalm 40:2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 89:2  I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

Psalm 93:5 Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless days, O LORD.

Psalm 119:89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.

Proverbs 10:25 When the storm has swept by, the wicked are gone, but the righteous stand firm forever.

Proverbs 12:7 Wicked men are overthrown and are no more, but the house of the righteous stands firm.

Matthew 10:22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Matthew 24:12-13 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Mark 13:13 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Luke 21:19 By standing firm you will gain life.

1 Corinthians 10:11-12 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfillment of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

2 Corinthians 1:24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, because it is by faith you stand firm.

Galatians 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,

Philippians 1:27 Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel

Philippians 4:1 Therefore, my brothers, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord, dear friends!

1 Thessalonians 3:7-9 Therefore, brothers, in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith. For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord. How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?

2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.

2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

James 5:8 You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.

1 Peter 5:8-9 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

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