Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lessons in Leadership part 10 ( Accusations)

Pastors and leaders in general probably face some of the most harsh accusations than average people in the world. It is because they are in the front for everyone to see and become easy targets. Unfortunately, leaders' families have to deal a lot with accusations as well. Sometimes they too become the targets from evil and confused people. In America, many are so sue happy; therefore, one could find themselves having to face off in the courtroom. Trust me this is not a fun thing to experience. Jesus said that we would be accused falsely in the last days. Saints, it isn't going to get any better; so it is important to deal with them now in order to overcome the new ones of tomorrow.

Matthew 5:11-12  "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, lie, and say all kinds of evil things about you because of me.  (12)  Rejoice and be glad because you have a great reward in heaven! The prophets who lived before you were persecuted in these ways.

Why do people accuse others of things? Now I am talking about false accusations. Leaders get false accusations most often and there are reasons why.

1. The accuser is just plain ignorant. Most people accuse without all the facts and base their facts on assumptions or perceptions. In their mind it is fact. Most are too ignorant to see past these assumptions and perceptions. I know that sounds harsh but understand when I say the word " Ignorant" It means being unaware of something due to the lack of true hard facts and the refusal of seeing the true hard facts.
2. The accuser is simply evil in heart. Sorry to say, there are some hateful, evil, self-centered, self-absorb, and down right rotten people out there in the world. Most people don't have to deal with them but guess who does? You guessed it! The Leader! Argghhhhhhhhh! Evil people are out to do evil. They want to see other people hurt. They thrive on getting what they can from others. They only see themselves because their world consist of just them. For some reason, they feel , you the leader, deserves a little hardship. There is nothing you can do against evil people but pray and find comfort in the following scriptures. ( Every now and then you can ask God to give you power like Elijah to call down lightening from heaven and destroy the prophets of Baal. Just kidding. Neat thought though.)

Psalm 71:13  Let those who accuse me come to a shameful end. Let those who want my downfall be covered with disgrace and humiliation.
Psalm 109:4  In return for my love, they accuse me, but I pray for them. 
Proverbs 11:9
“The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.” (NKJV)

I have quoted this next passage many times when facing accusations from false accusers. Now I know what you are thinking. " This sounds like revenge." No revenge would be to do harm back on another person or hurl insults back at them. That is too easy and only takes a small minded person to do so. This passage was something King David prayed and saw the living God redeem him mightily. David could pray this because he had a pure heart and a passion to see God glorified. Now I am not saying to pray this over your enemies. What I am saying is remember that the Living God has your back if you are standing in righteousness with Him. Make sure your heart is clean and you are living a holy life though.

Psalms 109:2-20  Wicked and deceitful people have opened their mouths against me. They speak against me with lying tongues.  (3)  They surround me with hateful words. They fight against me for no reason.  (4)  In return for my love, they accuse me, but I pray for them.  (5)  They reward me with evil instead of good and with hatred instead of love.  (6)  I said, "Appoint the evil one to oppose him. Let Satan stand beside him.  (7)  When he stands trial, let him be found guilty. Let his prayer be considered sinful.  (8)  Let his days be few in number. Let someone else take his position.  (9)  "Let his children become fatherless and his wife a widow.  (10)  Let his children wander around and beg. Let them seek help far from their ruined homes.  (11)  Let a creditor take everything he owns. Let strangers steal what he has worked for.  (12)  Let no one be kind to him anymore. Let no one show any pity to his fatherless children.  (13)  Let his descendants be cut off and their family name be wiped out by the next generation.  (14)  Let the LORD remember the guilt of his ancestors and not wipe out his mother's sin.  (15)  Let their guilt and sin always remain on record in front of the LORD. Let the LORD remove every memory of him from the earth,  (16)  because he did not remember to be kind. "He drove oppressed, needy, and brokenhearted people to their graves.  (17)  He loved to put curses on others, so he, too, was cursed. He did not like to bless others, so he never received a blessing.  (18)  He wore cursing as though it were clothing, so cursing entered his body like water and his bones like oil.  (19)  Let cursing be his clothing, a belt he always wears."  (20)  This is how the LORD rewards those who accuse me, those who say evil things against me.

3.The accuser is blinded from the truth. For whatever reason, sin or lack of relationship with the living God, some people have allowed themselves to be blinded from the truth. Most the time it is sin and  sometimes is simply a lack of relationship with the Father.

As leaders, we are going to face accusations from Christians and non-Christians alike. Although, I would say that I have had  worse accusations from "CHRISTIANS" than from non. I use the word " CHRISTIAN" lightly. We stand on the front lines and the enemy will use anyone to come against you. Yes, the enemy is real for those of you who think otherwise. Yes, there is a real demonic evil out there. If you don't believe me come on one of my missions trips sometimes.  Anyway there is going to be trouble but God is faithful. So what can you do? How can you face the pain of false accusations. When I say pain, I mean it. It hurts like a knife being stabbed into your eye socket. You get the picture. Especically when the false accusations come from those you trusted and thought they loved you. It is funny. As leaders, you give people allot of grace but very rarely receive that same amount of grace back and the same respect back. It is sad to see and go through. But there are things you can do.

Overcoming False Accusations.

1. Trust in the Lord through it all. Psalm 20:7
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” (NIV)

2. Don't repay evil for evil or don't be small minded. 1 Peter 3:9
“Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.” (NLT) 

3. Be assured that you will be vindicated. It might take awhile but it will happen. I have seen it time and time again. Isaiah 54:17
“But in that coming day no weapon turned against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from me. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (NLT)

4. Count it all joy and rejoice in the Lord. James 1:2-4
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”(NKJV)

5. Don't let it stop you from excepting constructive criticism.Proverbs 15: 31-33
“If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Fear of the Lord teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor.” (NLT)

6. Learn to forgive but be cautious.   Luke 17:3 -4 “Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” (NASB)

Ideally, true Christians will come to you and talk it out if they have a problem with you. Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world and some Christians are just immature in their walk with the Lord. If people falsely accuse you without following Matthew 18 then they are simply in the wrong and the living God will deal with them in due time. Now if sinners falsely accuse you then there is a difference. They don't have the protection of the Lord and the Law of Reaping and Sowing will come upon them like anyone else. We simply need to stay humble and broken before the Lord. We should never rejoice when accusers reap what they have sown either. We should always keep our lives without offense and pure before the King. If you have faced false accusations, be of good cheer our God is on our side.  If you are going through false accusations please let me know. I want to help you. I want to stand by you and pray. I know from experience the pain you are going through. Let it make you and not break you.
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