It was not fair. He was accused. Friends and acquaintances assumed he was at fault because he was quieter and more serious than the other party. This cut him to the heart, yet he chose not to defend himself. It was necessary, instead, that he protect the other’s reputation. Some would be harmed if the truth were disclosed right away. His counselors agreed it was a thorny situation. It was not fair. Nevertheless, they advised discretion.
He struggled. It hurt to be seen as the one who caused the rift, the stubborn one, the one unwilling to forgive and forget, the one who ruined everything. How he longed to set the record straight!
Those angry at the outcome lashed out at him. He thought about divesting them of their illusions. He could have told about the betrayal. He could have detailed how he tried, over and over, to seek healing in the relationship. He could have exploded in anger or explained how grieved he was.
“Discretion is the better part of valor,” some say. Perhaps it is true. He did not wish to be brave. Instead, he wished for justice. More than that—and to his shame—he wished for revenge. Then he recalled his own sins in the conflict. He was not responsible for the betrayal, but he was not without blame.
“If you suffer for doing good,” he read, and took comfort. He had no wish to suffer needlessly. “If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God,” he read. “To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.“
The King crowned with thorns knows what it is like to be accused. Yet “When they hurled… insults at him, he did not retaliate… Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Pet. 2:21-23)
God knows when we suffer, and the reasons why. He knows, and he will judge us all. When you are falsely accused, when you struggle to respond with grace, will you, like Jesus, trust Him?
Photo by Andrey Grinkevich on Unsplash