Summary: How to avoid over reacting to false accusations
Paul’s Response to False Accusations
Illustration:Statistics and Stuff
What really makes people satisfied with their lives? Amazingly, the secret may lie in a person’s ability to handle life’s blows without blame or bitterness. These are the conclusions of a study of 173 men who have been followed since they graduated from Harvard University in the early 1940s. The study, reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry, noted that one potent predictor of well-being was the ability to handle emotional crisis maturely.
Today in the Word, November 2, 1993
1. Why do most people fail to respond properly when they are the victims of false accusations? Many of us quickly fall into the grip of anger, fear or total denial.
In this passage, the Jews accused Paul of violating a sacred temple law by bringing a Gentile named Trophimus into the temple court. The officials accused him of being an enemy of the Law of God, like Stephen before him.
The Jews had a strict law that said anyone who allowed a Gentile to cross the barrier into the temple would be instantly put to death. Even the Romans looked the other way in most cases of the violation of this religious law. Faced with blind passion and ignorance to God’s grace Paul stood accused of making the holy place common.
Passion that is not controlled by God’s truth is dangerous and destructive. The Jews shouted, “This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and defiled this holy place… And all the city was disturbed and the people seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple and threw him in jail.”
Rejoice when you are able to identify with Christ who braved false accusations knowing that you are blessed. (Matt 5:13,14)
2. Paul realized that God could use anyone at anytime to deliver him from adversity. The great apostle saw blessings through his identification with Christ by being rejected by his own countrymen.
When people oppose you for being like Jesus Christ rejoice and be glad for your reward will be great.
Ask the Lord to remind you of the joy that is set before enabling you to endure any cross.
3. God used Paul’s imprisonment to display the apostle’s heroic courage to everyone. Paul did not know how the Lord would use him but he made himself available for God to work wonders.
The Lord is far more interested in your availability than your ability.
Ask the Lord to use false accusations as a platform to display greater courage, faith and hope in the Lord’s ability to cause all things to work together for good. (Rom. 8:28,29)
4. God showed His power as He used a heathan Roman soldier to save Paul from death. The Jews must have thought they had finally gotten rid of their Pauline nemesis, but God had greater purposes in mind.
Never doubt God’s ability to send the most unlikely people, provisions or processes to deliver you from trouble.
Ask the Lord to help you praise, thank and rejoice in what He will do through the most unlikely agents.
Illustration:Test pilots have a litmus test for evaluating problems. When something goes wrong, they ask, "Is this thing still flying?" If the answer is yes, then there’s no immediate danger, no need to overreact. When Apollo 12 took off, the spacecraft was hit by lightning. The entire console began to glow with orange and red trouble lights. There was a temptation to "Do Something!" But the pilots asked themselves, "Is this thing still flying in the right direction?" The answer was yes--it was headed for the moon. They let the lights glow as they addressed the individual problems, and watched orange and red lights blink out, one by one. That’s something to think about in any pressure situation. If your thing is still flying, think first, and then act.
Capt. Alan Bean, USN, Apollo Astronaut, in Reader’s Digest.
5. God used Paul’s imprisonment to spread the gospel to many Roman soldiers and governmental officials. The Lord knew how best to expand the gospel where it otherwise would not have been heard. His ways are perfect and all of His ways are blessed.
Ask the Lord to use you as a witness to whomever God chooses to reflect the light of His truth upon.
6. God used Paul’s peaceful and powerful delivery in the face of stiff opposition to show everyone how the kingdom of God grows.
Imagine the scoffing and scorning Paul must have heard when he spoke the word of truth in that prison barracks.
Do not suppose that the kingdom of God grows without a fight. Trust the Lord to help you fight the good fight of faith.