Posted in coaching

don’t take the bait

When falsely accused, all kinds of emotion usually kick in. Your natural instinct is to counter with a few choice words of your own. But you don’t have to take the bait. Consider how Jesus responded to false accusations.

When Jesus was falsely accused of blasphemy, he responded with “Why” questions like, “Why are you thinking such evil things?” (Matthew 9:4-5, GNT). Jesus wanted to give his accusers a chance to reflect and awaken to what’s driving the charges. Why? “Why” questions reveal the motivation behind the accusation. If Jesus asked people why they thought the worst of him, you can, too.

When the Pharisees falsely accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath, Jesus asked another kind of question: “Have you not read?” (Matt 12:3-5). By directing their minds to Scripture, Jesus tried to shift their attention away from their allegations and redirect their thoughts to greater principles in Scripture. As the psalmist puts it: “All your commands are trustworthy. Protect me from those who hunt me down without cause” (119:86).

When Jesus was falsely accused of using satanic power to cast out demons, he responded with humor by way of the reductio ad absurdum. “If Satan is casting out Satan, he is fighting himself and destroying his own kingdom” (Matt 12:26). The implication is that even Satan is not stupid enough to undermine his own work! Humor can be a winsome way to expose the absurdity of false claims.

Lastly, Jesus often dealt with false accusations by sharing a story as an indirect method of presenting the truth. Through parables, Jesus was able to communicate his love and concern for people in spite of their denunciation of him. Share your stories. It’s a peaceful way to disarm accusations.

Whatever comes your way, pause, take a breath, ask why questions, point to Scripture, throw in some humor or a good story, and keep following Jesus.