How do you react when you are falsely accused or misunderstood? For most of us, the natural inclination is to fight back. We want to clear up the misunderstanding; clear our “good” name. We likely call or shoot off a text to a friend. We may craft a vent post on social media. Anything to make sure someone (everyone) knows we were wronged, and things aren’t as they are being portrayed.
But Jesus shows us another way. He never fought back. He never spent His precious time or energy clearing up the many misunderstandings or false accusations hurled His way. And if anyone had a right to do so, it would be Him.
Jesus didn’t strive for human acceptance, attention or adoration. He just kept faithfully, obediently, and humbly living out His calling. He never argues or pleads with anyone to follow Him. He doesn’t water down the message to make it more palatable. He speaks the truth, and then He steps back. We either believe it, or we don’t. As a result, He was accused of all sorts of “religious” offenses and was consistently misunderstood and misrepresented. But He was never deterred.
The ultimate accuser and driver of accusations is Satan. Like the example set by Jesus, we need to ignore his words; resist; flee from him.
How in the world do we do this? I feel the anxiety welling up just thinking of letting misunderstanding and false claims go uncontested. But you know what? That is my pride. It isn’t of God.
Leading up to the most severe accusation facing Jesus — betrayal and fabricated charges that would lead to a brutal death — Jesus goes to the Garden of Gethsemane and prays. He was distressed, troubled, sorrowful.
So He steeped Himself in prayer and conversation with God, His Father. God Himself in human flesh refueled with a fresh dose of truth and intimacy. A necessary equipping to endure His calling.
Jesus had complete confidence and security in who He was and His relationship with God the Father. Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth says, “when you are secure enough in who you are and in your calling, you don’t have to talk too much.”
Only in being rooted in who we are can we resist the temptation to fight back the distractions of the devil to get us off track. But it isn’t a one-time thing. It requires ongoing refilling through prayer and abiding in God. Then, fully equipped, like Jesus, we won’t be tempted to defend or debate; instead, we will have the assurance necessary to keep our eyes up and our feet moving to the rhythm of our calling.
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.” Exodus 14:14
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