These were the questions that opened our Sunday School lesson this week. I think we've all been there at one time or another. Whether it is a misunderstanding or an intentional attack, it can be discouraging and stressful to be wrongly accused.
The lesson was from Galatians chapter 2. We discussed the fact that Paul's credibility had been questioned. In verse 5 we learned by his example that when we are facing these accusations, we should not be deterred from our goal. We also learned, based on verses 1 and 9, that it is good to surround ourselves with strong believers we can trust for prayer and guidance.
Good encouragement for when we face those times of trials when someone is attacking our character, whether it is a family member or a stranger, or anyone in between.
But there is more. Here's my take on it:
Those times, hopefully, are rare. However, we are all attacked daily in this manner. The book of Revelation (12:7) tells us Satan is our accuser. We can see an example of this in Job 1. He wants each one of us to fail, and to be distracted from the plans God has laid in front of us, so what does he do? He lies. Not only does he lie about us, but he lies directly to us. Jesus said Satan is a liar, and the father of lies. (John 8:44), so we know he must be good at it.
We have all heard that voice in our head, and it sounds deceptively like our own:
You will never be good enough...
You blew it...again...
Do you really think you can make any difference?
They will all find out what you did...
What if they knew who you really are...?
The accusations fly at us, drag us down, discourage us, and most importantly...distract us from what we should really be doing. And that is just his point. When we become discouraged and fearful we step away from a purpose that only we can fill.
So what do we do?
Just like we learned from Paul, we must not be deterred from our God-given purpose. Also as seen in Galatians, we need godly people that we can trust. People who will encourage us and point us to the truth. Jesus called himself truth and life (John 14:6). It is only in him that we can answer those accusations in our heads and hearts.
You will never be good enough. - No, I won't! But I am covered by the righteousness of Jesus, and he is more than good enough! (2 Corinthians 5:21)
What if they knew who you really are? - Who am I really? I am the imperfect, flawed, loved, child of the one true God! (Galatians 3:26) That's who I really am, and if you aren't, you can be too. Anyone who tells you otherwise, is a liar.
"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32