Could Anyone Accuse You?
Sunday - June 14th
Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Matthew 5:14-16
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 6:1-4
In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.
Have you ever been accused of something you did not do? It does not feel that great. In fifth grade, I got in trouble a lot for talking when I wasn't supposed to be talking (no real shock there). My teacher Miss Titus moved me to the front of the room. My desk was farther forward in the room than her desk. My desk was right under the chalkboard, pushed tightly against the front wall of the class. The day Miss Titus moved me there, she said to me as I settled back into my seat, "There, let's see if you can talk as much to Mr. Wall as you talk to the other kids." My response was to look straight at the wall and say, "Hello, Mr. Wall." Miss Titus was not too happy with that reply.
A few days later, when our teacher was out of the room, the class became incredibly chatty. The volume of the class' voices just kept getting louder and louder. As someone in the class heard Miss Titus making her way toward our classroom, they yelled, "Quiet, here she comes!" That guy shouted just as others were realizing the same thing, so as Miss Titus entered the room, she only heard him yell out that phrase, and he really did yell. He disturbed other classes. Miss Titus assumed it was me. She accused me of being the person who screamed and said, "Shawn, you have disturbed every class on this end of the hallway."
I sunk deep in my desk chair. The way my desk was placed in the room, I could not talk to anyone. I had not even been talking while she was out of the room, let alone shouted at the top of my lungs as she reentered. I knew I was innocent and started to say so, but Miss Titus shot right back and threatened to send me to the principal's office. If there was any room possible to sink farther in my chair, I did. Just then, one of the girls raised her hand and said, "Miss Titus, Shawn wasn't even talking and did not yell; it was...." She went on to expose the real culprit - another boy in our class. Miss Titus asked the other boy if that was true. He sheepishly agreed. He then headed to the principal's office.
Miss Titus apologized for assuming it was me. It felt terrible to be wrongly accused, but it felt great to be exonerated. The teacher incorrectly thought that if someone were talking when they shouldn't have been and then shouted like that, it would have been me.
Maybe you have felt the weight of being accused of something that you did not do. It really does stink. As followers of Christ, we are to be people who live and love like Jesus. How long has it been that someone accused you or named you as a person who follows Jesus? That accusation is not bad for Christians. It is our badge of honor. We want people to see the way we behave, the attitude we carry, and how we relate to other people and notice something different about us. Hopefully, they will notice we love with the same kind of others-oriented love displayed in Christ's life. Hopefully, they see us and notice that we are committed to living and loving like Jesus.
For you to be accused of living and loving like Christ, you have to be seeking to do so. You can tell people you are a Christian, but they will only know it to be true if you demonstrate Christ in your life. Live in such a way this week that if someone watched your life, they would accuse you of being a follower of Christ! Each day, set out to let others see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven! Let your light shine!
Could anyone accuse you of being a follower of Jesus?
Our world longs for a glimpse of God. It should be easy for them to accuse us of being like Christ and giving them that glimpse!