In a world filled with daily news reports of scandal it is hard to feel immune from accusations. Nobody can feel immune from accusations in a world where people rush to be identified as a victim for self-aggrandizing reasons. When someone tries to shift the blame toward you what is your usual response? Many people take the accusation personally and respond emotionally putting themselves in a precarious position. David was often wrongly accused, but when he was wrong, he confessed his sin and accepted the consequences. David wrote, "Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin." (Psa 51:1,2) However, when falsely accused, David knew how to correctly respond when he wrote, "Confuse the wicked, O Lord, confound their speech, for I see violence and strife in the city. Day and night they prowl about on its walls; malice and abuse are within it. . . If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it. . . but it is you, a man like my companion, my close friend, and myself. . . But I call to God and the Lord saves me." (Psa. 55:9,12-15)

1. When you are falsely accused ask for mediators to weigh the merits of the accusation in the presence of your accusers. Moses wrote, "The two men involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother, then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. (Deut. 19:17-20)

2. Bring the false accusation to the attention of spiritual leaders. John writes, "So if I come, I will call attention to what Diotrephes is doing, gossiping maliciously about us. Not satisfied with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers. He also stops those who want to do so and put them out of the

church. Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God. (3 Jn. 1:10)

3. The Lord uses a plurality of Godly leaders to mediate accusations so that everything can be evaluated objectively.

4. Ask the Lord to intercede and fight your battles for you. David writes, "O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, for wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. (Psa. 109:1-4)

5. Do not fall into the trap of returning evil for evil, instead bless those who persecute you. Peter writes, "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. (I Pet. 2:1) God has a way of working everything together for the greater good. Ask the Lord to give you a special measure of grace, patience and confidence that God will right any wrongs that are done to you. His justice is perfect although not hasty.

6. Assure yourself and others that false accusers will be punished severely by God. Peter writes, "They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. (2 Pet. 2:13) When you know that the Lord will fight your battles for you it gives you the confidence to stand before your accusers unbothered by their false accusations or attempt to shift blame to you.

7. Instead of fearing people, choose to fear the Lord and hate evil. God will boomerang the accusations back to the accusers. Remember to follow the pattern of non-retaliation by Jesus. Peter writes to a persecuted church fellowship, "When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate, when He suffered, he made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly. (I Pet. 2:23) Although Jesus asserted His rights before His accusers, He resisted the temptation to take vengeance into His own hands. Jesus knew the Lord's mighty power, truth and wisdom would bring vindication. Jesus bore the cross of shame for the sake of those He loved, we are to follow in His footprints.

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