Being falsely accused of something that you know is simply not true is so hard to endure, isn’t it? We want to convince our accusers we are not the people they are saying we are. We want to defend ourselves. We want to be validated by those that love us to offset the ugly words thrown at us.
“But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the LORD; their vindication will come from me. I, the LORD, have spoken”! Isaiah 54:17 (NLT)
- This is what I have realized. Many people live in a world of smoke and mirrors and prefer to stay there. Not everyone wants our help in uncovering truth in their lives. I was asked a simple question and I gave an answer that was more truthful than the person wanted to hear and wrath was unleashed into accusations, multiple ugly emails, and slander. The hard part was that it was in an instant and thus such a shock. I thought this person was a friend.
- When Jesus was accused so many times He answered them not a word. I need to do the same. If someone is set against you, whatever you say to them will be turned around anyway. What is walking in the love of God with them? I see four steps to walk out of the toxicity and to following Jesus in this area.
- Remain kind and always forgive. Remember forgiving does not mean that what they have done is okay. It means you release them to God and you aren’t held captive by your grudge or hurt against them.
- Don’t defend yourself. Pray for reconciliation but trust that He knows what is best for you.
- Examine your own heart to make sure you have been upright and not self-serving.
- Let Jesus soothe those hurt feelings and realize He was treated the same way when He so didn’t deserve it.
Walking in God’s kind of love is not enabling people to continue to be unkind to you and it is not putting up with their attacks. It is walking away, forgiving and giving them to God. They have violated your trust. Trust has to be earned.
“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. Matthew 5 (NLT)
- As I grow in my understanding of his love for me it changes the way I see others around me, including complete strangers. I’ve come to appreciate that the greatest gifts we are given in this life are the people we know and the friendships that grow out of those relationships. Ask any person on the verge of death and they will swear it is so. Everything else is secondary.
- If you want to love like he loves, you will have to learn how to negotiate the painful realities of broken relationships and even find joy even in the process. Living loved by him and loving others freely around you is the greatest adventure you will ever know.
- Betrayal rises out of consistent patterns of exploitive, deceptive, or destructive behaviors.
- “Unforgiveness is like drinking rat poison while waiting for the rat to die,” is a common, but wise expression.
- Our unforgiveness does not impact those who have hurt us. It doesn’t even protect us from further hurt. It merely leaves power in the hands of those who cause damage in the world. Forgiveness is the healing salve in broken relationships. It does not excuse someone else’s behavior; it merely frees their victim from the ongoing pain of their actions and the desire to pay them back. By doing so it opens the opportunity for us to find healing beyond the pain, and the freedom to move on with God’s further work in our lives.
- You’ll know forgiveness has had its work in you when you no longer feel the angst in your stomach when you think of the one who hurt you. You’ll find God’s love more powerful than the most destructive intentions of others. In the end, we learn to forgive as we understand how much we need God’s forgiveness ourselves. When I have a difficult time forgiving someone else over a long season, it has helped me to ask Jesus what it is about his forgiveness that I don’t yet know for myself. The more I understand his forgiveness for me the easier it becomes to give it away to others.
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