Have we ever been falsely accused of a mistake that we were not guilty of? Was there a time when we were terribly hurt by false charges that affected our public image and our reputation? Are we still struggling to forgive those who once rallied false charges against us and still find it difficult to forget those wrongs done to us? One important thing that we need to keep in mind is that, we cannot control what people do to us or what they say about us but we can control how we respond or react to such false accusations. Our thought for reflection this Monday morning is, “Our God does not want us to react when we are falsely accused but to leave the matter to Him.”
“When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us” He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house”
When Joseph refused to yield to the advances of Potiphar’s wife, she decided to destroy the life of Joseph who was an innocent, decent, honest, and trustworthy young man. Potiphar’s wife succeeded in twisting the truth by accusing Joseph of attempting rape and projecting herself as an innocent victim of sexual misbehaviour. Potiphar not only believed her false accusation as truth but also threw Joseph into the prison. The Bible does not say how Joseph reacted to the false accusations and unjust imprisonment. Joseph’s silence teaches us two key lessons.
1. It is better not to attempt to defend ourselves when we are falsely accused.
When we try to clear our names or defend ourselves when falsely accused, we normally aggravate the situation and the tension between us and the person who falsely accuses us increases. Though Joseph knew that Potiphar’s wife was falsely accusing him, he did not try to defend himself. Joseph knew that even if he had tried to defend himself, no one would have believed his words. Probably he realized that the best thing to do was to leave the matter to God and expect him to defend him. Whenever we are misunderstood or falsely accused do we try to defend ourselves?
2.It is better not to react when we are falsely accused.
Joseph had the right to react by making counter charges against Potiphar’s wife by saying that it was she who had spoken to him day after day though he had constantly refused to yield to her advances(Genesis 39:10). Even when Potiphar’s wife gathered witnesses by calling her servants to see for themselves that Joseph had left his cloak with her, Joseph did not react. Later when his master put him in prison, still Joseph remained silent without any kind of reaction. His behavior reminds us of Jesus: “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 2:23). Do we react or retaliate when we are falsely accused?
John Milton said, “The best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.” Thus shall we determine not to react or defend ourselves when we are falsely accused by others but to remain silent?
Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for trying to defend myself and react carnally whenever I am falsely accused. Give me the grace to entrust myself and my situations to you, who judges justly. Help me not to retaliate but remain silent in any adverse situation, believing that you are in control of everything.
In Jesus’ name,... Amen!