Not long ago, we had a case of wildfire. It just started, perhaps by an arsonist. We live in a very wildfire prone area. All I can remember is that the fire was merciless. It grew by the minute. It engulfed homes. It burnt everything away. Homes were evacuated. Those left became survivors. Their losses immense. They can never go back and have what they once owned. They could build again, but what was once was…was wiped away. Survivors learned to re-adapt to a new normal.
I wouldn’t have asked for a trial of this sort. The truth is, in this broken world it finds us.
This is the nature of accusations and slander that leads to relational crisis. It comes like a wildfire. It is merciless and when it has had it’s way, it would have burnt and destroyed what once was. Years of relational capital built into lives can be licked away by merciless flames. I have always wondered what is it that motivates an arsonist to start a fire. I don’t need to look far. There is an arsonist in me that can unleash the powers of cowardice and accomplish much for my fury. I know what motivates is not to see homes destroyed, but to see what I accomplished. I tame it everyday, I take it captive.
God is faithful and is a rebuilder of ancient ruins, but to walk through a crisis and re-adapt to a new “normal” is painful…it is grief.
Nature of Accusations
Tears like a lion: Accusation tears you. Whether or not there is truth in accusations, in Psalm 35, David pleads with God about people who tore his soul apart like a lion. The language is vicious. Slandering, malicious mocking, false accusations, gnashing of teeth.
Or he will tear my soul like a lion, dragging me away, while there is none to deliver. Psalm 7:2
Stumbles like a Stone: Accusations throw a curve ball at you and causes you to stumble and stop. If you have accused anyone in the past, always know they are a hindrance in the way of a brother. There are ways in our christian walk to share concerns with a brother or sister but accusation is never one of them.
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. Romans 14:13
Protect me, LORD, from the clutches of the wicked. Keep me safe from violent men who plan to make me stumble. Psalm 140:4
Net to Trap: I have talked so much with a friend sometimes, only to find that person was interested in actually not enjoying my conversation, but waiting to catch me at a disclosure. To twist the matter and use it for their purpose. I have cried over my times and energy wasted on certain “friendships.”It has always helped me to remember the times I had been careless with the words of someone else. Before accusing someone of what they did to me, the pain endured in times of betrayal helped me to surrender and pray that sanctification would begin in myself first, making me truthful in the inmost places.
Trust me, traps are hard…especially the ones they lay after serving you a waffle…a toasted and buttered one at that.
Like lions crouched in hiding, they wait to pounce on the helpless. Like hunters they capture the helpless and drag them away in nets. Psalms 10:9
I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me. Psalms 35: 7
The proud have set a trap to catch me; they have stretched out a net; they have placed traps all along the way. Psalm 140:5
Holes that are Dug: After walking through some paths where holes were dug, I have asked the Lord to please give back my innocence I have lost in those holes. It was not just my words that were caught, the holes actually caught a part of my innocence. It is brutal to walk away losing your innocence. The consequence of losing your innocence is that it is hard not to look out for holes again. Instead of loving people and genuinely caring for those around you, you look for a potential hole digger in each person. When you lose your innocence the hard part is you don’t credit the other with it either. It takes a lot of crying out to the Lord and healing to be able to stop looking at people as a potential harmer.
I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me. Psalms 35:7
Hallelujah! He redeems. Joseph started some fire in his home. He was SOLD. Joseph’s life was filled with false accusations. False accusations from his own brothers, false accusations from his master’s wife… the fire consumed everything he owned, and he paid dearly every time! He lost all the relationships that he invested in. It seems unfair that he had to adapt to a new normal, frequently. Joseph’s life teaches me that God picks up the same tool that satan uses to destroy, and makes it His scalpel to sanctify. He redeems everything lost. Reputation, relationships, and resources.
But for now, may we endure!
“It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply. A.W.Tozer.