Friday, February 3, 2012


This week, I've been accused of many things. By default I react with fear mixed with guilt, which sends out roots to squeeze my conscience. This unhealthy seed produces sickly fruit: self-justification wrapped in a rind of indifference. Inside the fruit nestles the same seed that sprouted the whole plant--guilt and fear. The fear of man, which must be the beginning of folly.

What I need is the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.

When I spoke to a wise friend about these feelings, she said, quoting a recent sermon, "The devil attacks people in two ways: temptation and accusation.  Accusations are never from God. 'There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.'" When she said this, I felt the relief of truth. Do you know that feeling?--when a truth settles over you and your chest opens up and you breathe in deep, involuntarily, and your shoulders drop and your jaw relaxes. "... Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," Jesus said (John 8:32).

Accusations are not from God. --Of course, I thought. Satan is called the Accuser. God is not an accuser. God judges, God convicts, God speaks the truth, but He does all these things in love. I have an Advocate, "one who speaks to the Father in my defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One" (1 John 2:1). I have a Counselor, "the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father and testifies about [Jesus]" (John 15:26). And "God is light: in Him there is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5)

I want to be free of accusations, to know the truth, to be set free in the truth. How? How?

"If you hold on to my teaching, you are truly my disciples," Jesus said. "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

What does it look like to hold on to Jesus' teaching in the midst of accusation? How do I love my enemy? What do I pray for the person who persecutes me? In high school when everyone condemned me for being a Christian, I thought I learned the flavor of persecution. But that was nothing. This is what it feels like to have my character condemned. This is the place from which I must pray for my persecutor, and love the one who attacks me.

This is what I've been memorizing and this is what I pray for you, my accuser:
that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and in depth of insight, that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the praise and glory of God. (Philippians 1:9-11). 
O God, give her love. Give her knowledge and depth of insight. Enable her to discern what is best. Make her pure and blameless, all the way till the day of Christ. Fill her with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Your Son. Transform this situation into one that brings praise and glory to Yourself.


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