Stop, Drop and Roll

August 22, 2008 at 10:34 am (Articles, Godly Living) (, , , , , , , , )

Imagine you are a little mouse in the home of the average American family, where two children sit coloring at the kitchen table. “You stole my pencil!” one exclaims. “I did not!” the other replies indignantly. “You stole it yourself!” You, the mouse, sits to the side, contentedly munching the missing pencil. Behold the epic tale of the false accusation.

The issue caught my attention the other day while browsing the Rebelution forum: What do you do when you’re on the receiving end of the accusation? Here’s my recommendation for becoming fireproof.

Stop before you answer. Think about the accusation to be sure it’s false–that there is no truth in it. Answer gently–not affirming the accusation, but also not denying it or if you feel you must deny it, deny it gently once. Don’t argue about it. Siblings are rarely persuaded through argument. Parents should be honored. Husbands should be respected. Proverbs says to leave the arguing to fools.

Drop to your knees and pray for wisdom, gentleness and forgiveness, insight into why the other person may have accused you, understanding of what they may currently be going through and for the truth to be made known. Our struggle is not against flesh and blood–pray that the Lord would do the battling and the debating for you.

Roll with the punches. Remind yourself that you may falsely accuse at times as well. Remind yourself that your relationship with this person is too valuable to risk harming by fighting. Remind yourself that God knows the truth and He will bring all truth to light eventually. If the person is angry, you won’t be able to reason with them anyway. Give them some time to think it over without irritating or increasing their anger. Shrug your shoulders, thinking of the bigger picture—eternity. How important is it really whether you stole the pencil or not?

Sometimes, at a later time, an opportune moment arises to discuss the issue–take it then and calmly express yourself, respectfully. Even siblings deserve respect and honor. But don’t force an issue and always give it time to cool! If it becomes an argument, bow out. So many misunderstandings resolve themselves when set on a shelf for a little while. Many false accusations are quickly proven to be false without a struggle. In fact, if you maintain an attitude of humility and gentleness, you’ll find that people are less likely to accuse you, more likely to listen to you and more likely to acquit you and come to your defense. For me, I find the root of my defenses usually lies in self-righteousness, pride and anger. King David had an excellent attitude toward false accusations, of which he found himself the frequent butt. “But I, like a deaf man, do not hear, and I am like a dumb man who does not open his mouth. Yes, I am like a man who does not hear, in whose mouth are no arguments. For I hope in Thee, O Yahweh, Thou wilt answer.” (Psalm 38:13-15) The Lord will vindicate the righteous. And He does so with much more finesse.

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2 Comments

  1. Meredith :) said,

    Good article! I like the Stop/Drop/Roll metaphor too 🙂 You guys have done so well with this blog, it’s definitely uplifting and helpful. Yay!

  2. Jennifer said,

    Wow – I love how you used the phrase that firemen used to always tell us when they visited us at school. I know when it comes to arguments, I tend to be, shall we say, a turtle, and avoid confrontation at all costs (which drives my dear husband nuts!). It’s so easy, when being accused of something, however, to act harshly toward the accuser. Thank you so much for your Godly wisdom!

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