By Dr. D. Wayne Beeks | May 12, 2017
The commission of false accusations made by man against each other has existed through the history of mankind for thousands of years. Even Jesus Christ, the sinless lamb of God, was treated unfairly and falsely accused by many.
“He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Isaiah 53:3
Surely if the sinless Christ could be accused unfairly, you cannot expect to go through life and not one day also be falsely accused. How Jesus handled these unjust accusations is filled with lessons for us all. The greatest lesson of all is more what He didn’t do, than what He did do.
“21, For even hereunto were you called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow his steps: 22, Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23, Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judges righteously:” (2 Peter 2:21-23).
Jesus held his tongue, and He didn’t lash out as his accusers in anger and self-defense. He didn’t lash out with gossip and accusations of others. Although he spoke little, he spoke only truth. He put the accusations upon Him into perspective; in a sense He picked his battles. He knew the bigger picture we cannot see. Is fighting the battle over a trivial false accusation worth the cost and effort in view of the bigger picture? Consider the motivation of the accuser and the impact of your spoken words of anger and vengeance in retaliation, not only upon the accuser and others, but also upon yourself.
“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Give careful thought to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes.” (Romans 12:17).
Jesus turned the other cheek. We have all heard the phrase, “turn the other cheek”, Matthew 5:39. By not doing so and in seeking vengeance upon others we have taken judgment from God unto ourselves. We aren’t the ultimate judge, and vengeance is the Lord’s.
“18, If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19, Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for God’s wrath, because it is written, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, says the Lord.” (Romans 12:18-19).
Will knowing His lessons of how He dealt with the false accusations make the pain you’ll feel and the situation easier and any less bitter, not immediately. But doing so will be accordance to His word and of His teachings. God knows what the truth is, and who the transgressors are. God also knows other knowledge of the event, the greater picture, and will reveal this in His own time. Though sometimes difficult to grasp, God knows all, He sympathizes of your plight, and He has a plan.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
If we have truly done nothing wrong, should we endure the punishment of being falsely accused? All of us have been through the stress of having to defend yourself from false accusations. Children are masters at accusing one another. Being falsely accused is filled with insecurity, doubt, bitterness, stress, fear, and bitterness. Adding to the stress is the knowing that nothing you say will convince our accusers we are not at fault. The accuser may not only may be lacking information on what really happened, they also won’t have any idea of what your intent was. Sometime words and actions can be misunderstood, and only you and God know your heart and intent.
“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2).
Someone may hear a part of story, and thinking they know all of it, will run with it, making a false judgement, and spread untruth. Don’t lash out in anger and judgment, with accusations and words against your accuser and others, as they have done. God will deal with false accusers, and judgment lies with God. The spreading of untruth is a sinful and harmful act, and is written against several times in the bible ranging from gossip
“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” (James 4:11).
to bearing false witness against your neighbor.
“Like a club and a sword and a sharp arrow Is a man who bears false witness against his neighbor.“ (Proverbs 25:18).
Those that falsely accuse, lie, and gossip will be subject to Gods judgment and punishment.
“A false witness will not go unpunished, and whoever pours out lies will not go free.” (Proverbs 19:5).
“A false witness will perish, But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.” (Proverbs 21:28).
However, if you have done wrong, you must accept you have done so, confess your sin and seek forgiveness from those you wronged, and from God. When confronted with an accusation, look honestly upon yourself and your intentions. Is there any foundation for the claim? Sometimes words may be said, or an action was taken that could be taken out of context and be falsely perceived and judged. Sometimes in anger and frustration, being only human, you may say something you would not ordinarily. Each first responder is held to a higher level of accountability than the public. While each selflessly serves, they are expected the impossible task to speak, react, and act perfectly every time, all the time. As humans “we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) and shall seek His forgiveness.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” (John 1:9).
Just as importantly as seeking forgiveness from God, we must also be willing to forgive ourselves. You must stop focusing and dwelling on the past transgression. Doing so is draining, creating self-doubt; a tool of Satan to gain control of your mind through guilt. Did not Jesus Christ die for the forgiveness of all sin, past, present, and future? If you don’t forgive yourself is to be in denial Jesus Christ, all that He died for, and of the word of God.
“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a people for his own, zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14).
For most of my over 20 years in law enforcement, my greatest concerns for being injured were being in vehicle crashes, being assaulted, and the possibly being shot. In recent times those concerns have been pushed back giving way to concerns of being falsely accused, having to defend myself, and these accusations having a detrimental impact on my career. Unfortunately, in many cases, even if false accusations are proven to be false, the damage and doubt created by them will remain.
The environment of how false accusations are treated has changed, especially in the past couple of years. Those that falsely accuse the police are generally not prosecuted, and in 2005 it was ruled by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to falsely accuse the police is protected free speech. Filing a false statement or report with the police department in most all case is a crime, but it is infrequently prosecuted, especially if it is against a police officer with the police departments taking a stance that it would appear to be vindictive. These are difficult times for all serving our communities as first responders of all capacities. In these difficult times we must guard our heart, for if we allow the trials and false accusations to corrupt our heart with anger, bitterness, and resentment, we will become poisoned and corrupt like our enemies.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23)
Knowing the potential and accepting I will be accused falsely at some point, it is my faith and acceptance of Jesus Christ that will give me strength and deliver me through all trials; just and unjust. False accusations are a plague that can befall everyone, no one is immune; especially those in public service, and the frequency of occurrence today is more than ever. Although we can’t control the thoughts and actions of those seeking to speak against us, to vilify us, and o do harm against us; we can control how we respond. We can stay in the word of God, to know and learn of His teachings. If we are to accept the sovereignty of God, we also must accept that He has allowed the unfairness and false accusations to occur in accordance to His greater plan.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11).
To be filed with anger and resentment against your enemy is like drinking a vial of poison, hoping to sicken and kill them. Instead it will only poison you. It is better to do as God has said, to forgive them and pray for them. Let me add that forgiveness is not condoning or accepting of another’s transgression upon you or another, it is instead to remove control that person has over you through their hurtful actions. Lift up your enemy in prayer to God who shall be in judgement of that person. Put your life’s direction and reputation into the hands of Jesus Christ, and remember these words:
“To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. ‘He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.’ 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” (1 Peter 2:21-23).
I also leave you with the words of President Abraham Lincoln, a short quote spoken many years ago, and its words still ring true today for all of those who do the right thing but still stand falsely accused.
“Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction …nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. “ Abraham Lincoln.