<<charge, indictment>>

Often at the heart of an accusation or allegation, there is some truth plus a lot of fabrication, the twisting and distorting of facts with the intent of discrediting the character of another.

Satan, the “accuser of brethren” makes exaggerated allegations about the believers before God that they have failed to act honourably or according to His standards (Zech 3:1,2). When he says, ‘You are useless, God won’t accept you’ and other negative destructive things counterattack by verbally declaring, ‘I reject your accusations Satan, and I am accepted in Christ’. Christ secured our pardon from sin through His blood, and victory is completed by our testimony (Rev 12:10-12). It is vitally important when we have sinned to genuinely repent, so the blood of Christ can fully cleanse us and Satan has no legal right to get a foothold because of sin (Eph 4:27). Sin entitles Satan to harass people. As Jesus was sinless, Satan had no claim or power over Him although he tried to tempt Him. Jesus demonstrated that speaking out scripture is a very powerful weapon (Mt 4:1-11; Jn 14:30). The closer we walk with God and obey Him the less power or influence Satan can exert over us although he will always be on the lookout for any lapse of integrity or misconduct. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).

We should never use our position of authority to accuse or manipulate people (Lk 3:14). There is the safeguard of requiring two or more witnesses to bring an accusation against an elder (1 Tim 5:19).  Often those making the accusations are guilty of the same thing, maybe even on a larger scale

Don’t assist Satan by spreading rumours           or falsehoods – deal with them

(Mt 7:3-5; Rom 2:1). Slander and verbal abuse are some of the prevailing hallmarks of corrupt society in the last days (2 Tim 3:1-4). Distance yourself from this destructive practice – either physically remove yourself from where this is happening or ask if you can check the facts out with the person being defamed. Be sure of the facts, the real truth of the matter, before confronting or challenging others, as although facing the truth can be painful, wrong accusation can be devastating and create a bigger problem to resolve. Words are very powerful, bringing bondage or release (Prov 18:21).

Making unfounded allegations or false accusations is a serious matter and we should not be guilty of doing this (Ex 20:16). While sin should not be covered up or ignored any charges against another must be verified through reliable proof with the intent to bring restoration and wholeness, not the spreading of rumours or criticism.  Ask questions to ascertain the facts and help the person acknowledge the offense rather than assuming you know or being aggressive. After clarifying the truth guide them through the recovery process, acknowledging what was wrong, why it was wrong, providing a better response, and indicating a wiser choice if a similar occasion arises in the future.

If as followers of Christ, when people make false accusations against us, Jesus said,  “Blessed are you when people...falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven” (Mt 5:11,12).  However, if what others speak is the truth, humbly acknowledge any faults, inconsistencies or wrongdoing; do not make excuses, as they do not resolve anything. Repent, correct your behaviour and maybe put yourself into greater accountability with those who will oversee you. We need sensitive hearts that will quickly respond to the conviction of the Holy Spirit when we have sinned.

Through jealously, Jesus was falsely accused yet He did not justify or defend Himself, instead committing Himself to God who judges accurately (Mt 27:12-14; Mk 15:3-5; 1 Pet 2:23). God is the one to whom we are ultimately accountable, not any human. We are urged to let our light shine, keep our heart focused on the Lord and live good lives responding in a loving manner in the opposite spirit, blessing those insult us (Mt 5:16; 1 Pet 2:12, 3:9,16). The Holy Spirit will give us any words of response required when accused (Lk 12:11,12).

See also: accountability, condemn, criticism, gossip, guilt, intimidate, opposite spirit, speech.