When someone makes false accusations, the urge to retaliate can be strong. However, seeking revenge only gives the accuser more ammunition to justify their wrongful actions. In cases of abuse, the victim often remains quiet while the perpetrator speaks out.

When Jesus was on trial for His life, we see this dynamic play out dramatically. Jesus was the epitome of innocence but chose not to defend Himself. His life’s testimony contradicted the accusations, so He trusted God to be His vindicator.

If you are caught in a conflict and uncertain which side to trust, listen carefully to the words being spoken. If you hear half-truths and bitter accusations, then you are hearing the sounds of Satan. Those who have been victimized do not need to justify themselves because they are already on the side of truth.

1. Share false testimonies that others do not validate (Mt 27:11-26, Lk 23)
2. Look for reasons to condemn (Lk 26:59-60)
3. Crucify their victims in public (Mt 26:67-68, 27:27-50)
4. Hurl accusations (Mt 24:40-44, Lk 23:11)

Even on His most difficult day, Jesus showed us how to handle mistreatment gracefully and trust God to be the ultimate judge.

Jesus as the victim:
1. Remained silent in the face of accusation (Mt 26:62-63, 27:12, Lk 23:9)
2. Shared the simple truth when asked (Mt 26:64, 27:11-14, Lk 22:67-70, 23:3)
3. Forgave accusers (Lk 23:34)
4. Resisted the temptation to prove Himself and left justice to God (Lk 23:23)

If you find yourself in a conflict that is not your own, take note of the heart and tone behind what is being said. If someone’s testimony does not match your personal experience or seems motivated by malice, it is probably best to distance yourself. And if you feel like you are being targeted, remember to follow in Jesus’ footsteps and trust God to be your defender. Jesus not only taught us to turn the other cheek, give away our cloak, and go the extra mile, but He practiced what He preached. When we follow His lead, we overcome evil with good.

Carissa Raderstorf