As Christians we know trials are hard, we know consciously that they will come, and we know we need to press on. But there is a particular trial, which often times we don’t label a trial, but is; and that is “suffering wrongfully”. Consider arriving at a four-way stop, a person approaches from the right, they have their indicators on to turn left, so you begin to move straight across. Suddenly you realize they are not turning, instead continuing straight. Immediately you slam your brakes and as they pass just in front of your vehicle, the driver and his passenger curse at you with verbal assaults and hand gestures.
I don’t know about you, but this makes me quite angry; why? Because despite them being in the wrong and causing a near accident, they ‘magically’ blame me, assuming me to be the guilty party, and they the VICTIM. How dare they insinuate I am wrong, when they are in error? How dare they accuse me, when I am innocent? Sound familiar….
I know this is simplistic and perhaps doesn’t relate to you, but the gist of being accused wrongfully and the frustration one feels thereafter, should. For it is on this ground we see a refraction of light from the heavenly’s as we consider that Jesus Christ in being God’s son, was falsely accused, but kept silent; was mocked, but never resorted to a malicious response; was made naked and ashamed, but never veered from His Father’s obedience; was prosecuted by the authorities for crimes He didn’t commit, but never rebelled; was whipped, beaten and spat at, but never fought back; was taken to a Cross and Crucified despite being innocent, yet never calling down a legion of Angels to rescue Him from the torture, the pain, the agony and the shame.
It is by that example, we heed the words of scripture – 1 Peter 2:19 – “For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully”. Thankworthy there simplistically means, for this is acceptable. Friend it is acceptable in God’s eye, it’s esteemed, it is looked upon with pleasure when someone in obedience to God (not man), is wrongfully accused and bears it (despite being innocent).
The question thus must be asked – is Christ’s example our own? In life (particularly in our church communities), do we carry this attitude, this obedience which is acceptable before God, or do we resort to that which is “unacceptable”, choosing to think of ourselves more than we ought, to defend our honor, our name, our pride, our self-image; instead of “bearing our conscience toward God”. Is it Him we thinking of, or is it us?