From the time I was a little girl, my parents, preachers, Sunday school teachers, and school teachers all taught me the importance of keeping a good testimony. They stressed to me that we are all to be mindful of keeping a good name before others. Because once our good name is tarnished, it is hard to earn back the respect and trust we once had.
And, of course, these are good truths to learn and to teach our own children. However, it wasn’t long before I learned that it’s not always possible to keep a good name with everyone, no matter how hard we try.
And that’s when I learned that as long as I please God, then everything else will be OK. Because…
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And that’s a very good thing, since people often tend to think what they want to. And believe what they see or hear, without further investigation.
For instance, a few months ago, my daughter and I decided to go run some errands. As we were leaving our neighborhood, I glanced over at my neighbor’s house, because her garage door caught my attention. It had a huge dent in it at about the height of her car’s front grill. I know because her car was parked in front of it on the driveway.
Guess what I immediately thought?
“Oh, no! She must have run into her own garage door!
I mean her car is right there. The dent is the height to match her SUV. She is the only one who lives there. It had to be her. Right?”
Well…not necessarily. And I ought to know.
You see, our house has two garage doors. And when we first moved into our house, 11 years ago, my husband backed into my garage door!
And since we didn’t fix it, I’ve had the joy all these years of the neighbors watching me pull into the garage on the side with the big dent, while my husband bebops into his side with the perfectly good door, looking all innocent!
My neighbors all probably think, “There goes another one of those crazy women drivers. Her poor husband!” 😊
So, I knew better than to jump to conclusions about my sweet neighbor’s door.
That’s a silly example of how we care about what others’ think and how we are sometimes misjudged. But sometimes false accusations are more serious in nature. And can cause us serious problems.
David and Shimei
David knew what it was like to be falsely accused. And what it was like to live the life-altering results of those accusations. King Saul believed David wanted his throne and relentlessly pursued him to kill him! But it wasn’t David who was trying to take the throne, but rather, God who would give David the throne.
Saul wasn’t the only accuser David had to deal with, either. This week we read in Psalms 7 David’s response and prayer to God after enduring the false accusations of Cush the Benjamite.
2 Samuel 16:5-14 gives the man’s name as Shimei. And tells the story of how Shimei reviles David, cursing continuously and throwing stones at him and those with him, as they flee Jerusalem upon David’s son, Absalom’s, rebellion and coup against his father’s reign over Israel.
As a distant relative of King Saul, Shimei believes David deserves what he’s getting for displacing Saul from being king. And for being a bloodthirsty man.
The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man. 2 Samuel 16:8
But what Shimei thinks of David isn’t true at all. And David responds with great dignity and grace. Trusting in his God who knows the truth.
It’s ironic that Shimei believed David to be a bloodthirsty man, and yet David actually saves his life when Abishai wants to take revenge against Shimei!
Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. 2 Samuel 16:9
And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him. 2 Samuel 16:11
Shimei believed what he wanted to believe about David, because the truth was that David had been gracious and merciful to Saul and his family. And it wasn’t David who took the kingdom from Saul, but rather it was Saul’s own doing that cost him the throne. And God who deposed him!
But again, people will so often believe what they want to.
Have you ever had someone think less of you? Either because you disagreed with their stand on an issue, or because you were being falsely accused of something?
It’s not fun to not be thought well of. Rather, it is extremely frustrating and hurtful.
But if we’ve not done anything wrong, and our opinion is based in the truth of God’s Word, then we need to care more for what God thinks of us, and what the truth is, than what others think of us.
And respond as David did.
David was able to respond with kindness. And so, can we, by…
Turning to and seeking God in prayer, rather than retaliating in kind. Psalms 7:1
Having faith in God to deliver us. Psalms 7:1
Asking God to show us if there is any fault on our part in the situation. Psalms 7:3-5
Being willing to acknowledge any fault and accept any deserved judgement. Psalms 7:5
Trusting God to be Judge and to judge righteously. Psalms 7:8-9
Trusting God to be our defense, instead of rising up in self-defense. Psalms 7:10
Praising God in the midst of the hurt. Psalms 7:17
David knew the hand of God was in control in every circumstance. He didn’t need to fight and shut Shimei up. God would. Psalms 7:16
David could praise God because he had taken his cause to the Lord. And in faith, left it there!
David had the strength to not respond in kind, but rather, in kind-ness, by resting in the faithful and righteous judgment of God.
And so can we! Even though, it often is incredibly hard.
It is very hard to bear a cowardly attack. One is very apt to reply and use hard words to one who takes advantage of your position and deals you the coward’s blow. Only the coward strikes a man when he is down.Spurgeon
When others falsely accuse us and slander our good name, we can choose to step back and respond with kindness, resting in our Saviour to be Judge between right and wrong.
Help From This Week’s Memory Verses
As I reviewed the verses I’d chosen for this week’s reading, I realized that all of them can give us the assurance and comfort we need during such times as David endured with Shimei.
Psalms 6:8b reminds us that God hears our weeping. He sees our heartache and tears.
…the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
Psalms 7:10 reminds us to leave our defense in God’s hand instead of rising up in self-defense.
My defence is of God, which saveth the upright in heart.
Psalms 8:9 reminds us to praise the Lord at all times, even the most trying times!
O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!
Psalms 9:9 reminds us to turn to and seek refuge in our Saviour. Instead of letting our hurt tempt us, for instance, to run to others with gossip about the situation.
The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
Psalms 10:16a reminds us that our Lord reigns over all the earth, even those who seek to harm us!
The LORD is King for ever and ever:
Being falsely accused is no fun. Especially when we feel that we cannot prove our innocence.
I’ve been there. Can you relate?
And sometimes it goes beyond mere slander.
Innocent people have been sent to prison. We all know the story of Joseph in the Bible. Well, that happens in our day as well. And is a much more serious form of false accusation.
But the same Bible truths still apply and will give us peace in even the most hurtful of situations. If we will trust and apply them and keep…
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT.
Have you ever been accused falsely? How did you handle it? Were you ever vindicated? How did God show up for you? Scroll down to share in the comments below.