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Inspiration for Today’s Devotional: “Rarity Investigates!”

Everyone loves to be praised for the good they do. Most people probably, if only secretly, like being praised for more than what they did. And if you get reprimanded or blamed for something that was genuinely a fault or crime of yours, you may feel bad but, hopefully, you feel bad more about what you did rather than the fact you were caught.

But something everyone has likely had to deal with at one point in their lives that no one enjoys is what Rainbow Dash got to experience firsthand in this episode: being accused of a wrongdoing you didn’t commit.

Being accused falsely can come from a variety of places. When we’re young, it likely came either from our own siblings or from our peers on the play yard. Goodness knows how many times all of us went through the whole “he/she started it” routine growing up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop with adulthood. Coworkers, acquaintances, rivals, and sometimes even friends and family can accuse us of something we haven’t done, and the Internet is rife with “trolls” who seem to exist for only that purpose. People who are victims of racism, classism, sexism, or any other ism are beset by these all the time. Christians themselves are constantly accused of being “holier than thou” and anti-women.

Sometimes this is the result of a clear misunderstanding or a case of being “in the wrong place at the wrong time”. But more often, again, especially on the Internet, it’s something far more underhanded.

It’s no coincidence that another name for the devil is “the accuser”, because accusation can be one of the easiest ways to bring evil into the world. If people accuse us of something we haven’t done or didn’t do willfully, they could be trying to discredit us, shame us in the eyes of our friends and coworkers, or put us down so that they can get ahead. That was certainly true of Rainbow Dash, who was framed by Wind Rider for lying to Spitfire so that she would get kicked out of the Wonderbolts. However, yet another far more prevalent evil that could result stems from the desire to defend ourselves.

Now, defending ourselves is only natural when we are accused of something we haven’t done, and often is necessary in the face of potential action being taken against us. The problem is when we are wrongfully accused, especially by people we know, we often let our emotions get the better of us. We desire vengeance and to “get even”. This might prompt us to accuse our accuser in turn, often loudly or angrily, and sometimes with profane language or even actions…all of which, in turn, if they don’t make us look guilty at least serve to make us look bad and justify the claims about us. Worse yet, being accused by someone who had our trust can be permanently damaging, leading us to become callous and distrustful of people in general and ruin our Christian outlook on the world.

The Bible cautions the Christian in this vein, noting that if any of us are ever going to be ardently following God, we have to expect false accusations at one point and likely more than one point. After all, if someone doesn’t like what you’re saying yet they can’t find anything to blame you for, they’ll start making things up. This is inevitable and happened all throughout the Bible.

Joseph had to spend years in prison unjustly because he was falsely accused of adultery (Genesis 39). Moses was constantly accused by his own brethren of leading the Israelites out into the desert to suffer and die (Numbers 14: 1-4, 16:12-15, 20:2-6). David was accused of conspiring against his lord, King Saul, and relentlessly hunted for years for it (1 Samuel 20:24-34). Jeremiah was accused of selling out to Israel’s enemies to discourage Israel, as he preached doom against it for its sins (Jeremiah 37:11-14). Lord Jesus Himself, obviously, was accused of being everything from a revolutionary to being possessed by the devil (Matthew 12:22-32). If even Jesus was accused of being a devil worshiper, then how much more can we expect slander against us?

When this happens, however, the Christian would do well to remember a few things:

  1. If the accusation is justified, there is no reason to be angry in the first place, although this will inevitably happen as none of us would like to do something wrong and get caught. Make sure we’re never projecting our anger on someone else and, if genuinely in the wrong, acknowledge it, admit it, confess it, and repent.
  2. Never repay evil for evil, even if it’s merited. Losing one’s cool or raging at our accuser is not only discouraged in the Bible (1 Peter 3:9), but this will only justify them and make us look to be in the wrong.
  3. It can be especially hard to stay calm when lies end up poisoning our friends and loved ones against us, even if it ends up costing friendships, but try to keep in mind if these individuals really care about you then they’ll be patient enough to hear your side of things first or come around to do so in time. If they immediately side with your accuser, on the other hand, perhaps you’re better off without them.
  4. Always remember that all things work out for good for those who are committed to following God, even the worst of times (Romans 8:28). It could be that this is a test to develop your patience and faith in God to act as your vindicator and justifier. Remember, even if it’s hard, that it is more important to be blameless in the sight of God than in the sight of man.

Finally, as a “side message” to this one…

In the book of Daniel, there is a side story (Daniel 13) about an honest and God-fearing woman who was lusted after by two judges, who conspired to rape her in her own garden. When they came on her and she cried for help, they immediately accused her of trying to commit adultery with a younger man who ran off and that they tried to stop it. Without hearing her side of things, everyone fell in behind the judges due to their position and the fact there were two of them with their word against hers, and nearly put her to death for a crime she didn’t commit.

Realize nowadays that in the modern media and society, while our justice system might be innocent until proven guilty, the media is guilty until proven innocent…or, more appropriately, sell whatever story will sell. The next time we find ourselves all-too-eager to jump in with an accuser without knowing all the facts first, or perhaps only hearing one side of the facts that have yet to be substantiated, take a moment to think about how it would feel if you were being accused by this person and were truly innocent, and use that to give yourself patience until you’ve heard everything on both sides.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for all the opportunities you bring into my life to build my endurance, patience, and long-suffering…even if at the time I don’t care for them. If ever I find myself being falsely accused of a crime, please help me to avoid becoming genuinely guilty by sinning as a result of fear and anger. And when confronted with accusations of others, please help me to focus on the truth rather than what people tell me is the truth, and so deal with all people fairly. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

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