Have you ever been falsely accused?
I had a really eye opening experience a few years ago. It was my last year of Seminary, and early on a Monday morning I was driving into the center of town. This road I was on goes from 45mph to 25mph instantly. And on this Monday morning there was a police officer was sitting right on that line. I got a speeding ticket.
Now this is one of the last days in the month of March and that’s important because, as the officer was writing the ticket, he looked down at my inspection sticker… thankfully though… it wasn’t overdue yet. It still had a few days left. But then, the officer, in an accusatory tone, said, “you forged that inspection sticker”. I was speechless, and horrified, because… I had not.
Soon, there was a second officer on the scene. The second officer asks me to get out the car and, as we went for a little walk around the front of the car, and he said to me, “not for nothing… but I was a mechanic for 7 years and did a lot of state inspections… that’s definitely a forgery. I thought to myself’ “this is crazy” and continued saying, “no… it’s not”.
After our little walk… the officers talked amongst themselves and said, “well, we are going to give you a speeding ticket, and the inspection sticker issue… it isn’t a felony or anything… it just a misdemeanor… so we are going to let you off”. I responded, “Well, I would like the opportunity to bring the documents to the station to show that I didn’t forge it”. And they basically said, “whatever, have a nice day”.
Sometimes false accusations ‘just happen’ (like what happened to me) and sometimes they are a way of trying to intimidate or silence someone. In Acts 6 (verses 10 & 11)… our hero… Stephen is falsely accused:
…they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which [Stephen] spoke, [so] they secretly instigated some men to say, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.’
If we live, act and speak by our principles for any length of time… we will encounter this type of thing. And it hurts. It is wrong. The best we can do, as works in progress, is to hold onto our integrity. It is that integrity which will be the last word… when the dust has settled.
I did bring my proving documents to that police station a day later and confronted those officers directly… and they apologized. This was a ‘happy’ ending.
What does yours look like?