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.
- Sometimes when we speak truth into a situation, those who enjoy control don’t want to hear it. But sometimes, even if we do it in the kindest of ways, it just doesn’t matter if the person has set their heart against you. And controlling people want to stay in their delusions.
- “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”! Is. 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.
- Jesus knew that for many, love would often take second-place to self-interest. But people of honor will work through those moments to find a mutually satisfying resolution with love and respect. Betrayal rises out of consistent patterns of exploitive, deceptive, or destructive behaviors.
Rather than be overrun with pain, however, Jesus told us to consider ourselves blessed when we’re lied about or excluded. And if we don’t appreciate it, we will only treat others the way they treat us and perpetuate the cycle of pain. No, that isn’t easy, but it is nonetheless the truth.
- One thing that helps me is not to take it personally. No one deserves to be betrayed by someone who postures themselves as a close friend. Betrayal at its heart is not about you, it’s about weakness in the other person’s soul. Hurting people, hurt people. Betrayal is an assault against love itself and only shows how lost the betrayer is in his own pain.
We need to turn to Jesus, pouring out our hurts and disappointments, knowing he is able to care for us even beyond the unfaithfulness of others. As we find healing and rest in his love, which may take weeks or months, then it will become clear how he wants us to respond.
- Sometimes he wants you to stay in the relationship and love them past it. At other times he will want you to distance yourself from destructive people, especially those who violate your boundaries. Loving others doesn’t mean you have to let them walk all over you. He will show you how to lay down your life in trust that he will resolve things in far better ways than you can.
“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 5:11-12 (MSG)
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