Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
Have you ever been accused of something, but you were totally innocent? Charges were brought against you, witnesses were produced, people began to whisper behind your back, and “friends” started withdrawing from you. You presented the truth, but everyone wanted to believe the lies. You awaited the opportunity to present the evidence of your innocence; however, the opportunity never presented itself. How are we supposed to respond when falsely accused and our reputations are at stake?
“Christ set us an example of meekness in sufferings, and a pattern of submission to God's will in every thing that concerns us” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary). As we are being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29), we are to look to Him to determine our conduct and actions in the face of lies and condemnation. In John chapter 18, Jesus is betrayed and arrested; his disciple, Peter, who witnessed the good he had done and studied his teachings, denied knowing him; and, Jesus is brought before the Roman governor, Pilate, to be crucified.
Jesus did not point fingers and call his accusers liars. He did not focus on those who were hurting him and the injustice he endured. Instead, he continued to proclaim the truth. “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true. What is truth? Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, ‘He is not guilty of any crime’” (John 18:37-38 NLT). Jesus was not rude, disrespectful to the court, nor belligerent with the truth.
Jesus was without sin, yet his eyewitnesses to all the good he did, executed him. Although, we may be innocent of lies being directed at us or crimes we did not commit (at the moment), we have been guilty of something at sometime (and may have gotten away with it or did not stand up when someone else was accused of what we had done). Yet, when we repent and finally get on God’s agenda and false accusations and lies are directed at us, Jesus said that we would one day be rewarded for false accusations. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers” Matthew 5:11 NLT).
To follow Christ is to stand firm on the absolute truth of God’s Word. To follow Christ means that our lives will bear fruit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, patience [Galatians 5:22-23]) no matter what we come up against. What are you going to say the next time you are falsely accused? What comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart (Matthew 15:18). By the power of the Holy Spirit, let us allow God’s Word to be in our hearts so that our response to lies and injustice will testify to the truth of Jesus Christ.