When We Face Accusation
From time to time, undeserved criticism is the lot of every Christian. On occasion, it comes when we offer our best to the Lord and our good intentions are misunderstood or even ridiculed by those who should know better. Such an event is described in today’s Scripture reading.
The passage describes a woman who took a bottle of precious perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head as He reclined at the table. There is no record of any great results coming from this loving gesture. No lives were saved, no converts were made, and nothing measurable was obtained. Worse still, the woman was scolded for her actions. Her efforts were viewed as extravagant, unreasonable, and irresponsible. Jesus, however, thought otherwise. The Lord’s commendation for this woman’s loving sacrifice was astonishing. In His mind, it deserved to be memorialized—He said, “What she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matt. 26:13 NIV).
We sometimes wonder how much God is noticing our efforts to please Him. At times some of our greatest sacrifices seem to bring nothing but misunderstanding or even criticism from our family members and friends. Voices from others—and even from within our own heart—rise up to condemn us for godly choices that now seem to be incapacitating us.
But Jesus Christ, who knows the depths of our soul, sees and understands the torment we face. He hears the condemning voices of our accusers. When our sacrifices for the heavenly Father make little sense to the inhospitable world around us, it is His voice that will prevail on our behalf.
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself. Psalm 4:3
It’s almost impossible for us to get through a day without being snubbed, ignored, or put down in some way. Sometimes we even do it to ourselves.
David’s enemies were talking smack—bullying, threatening, pummeling him with insults. His sense of self-worth and well-being had plummeted (Ps. 4:1–2). He asked for relief “from my distress.”
Then David remembered, “Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself” (v. 3). Various English versions try to capture the full essence of David’s bold statement by translating “faithful servant” as “godly.” The Hebrew word here, hesed, literally refers to God’s covenant love and might well be rendered “those whom God will love forever and ever and ever.”
Here’s what we too must remember: We are loved forever, set apart in a special way, as dear to God as His own Son. He has called us to be His children for all eternity.
Instead of despairing, we can remind ourselves of the love we freely receive from our Father. We are His dearly beloved children. The end is not despair but peace and joy (vv. 7–8). He never gives up on us, and He never ever stops loving us.
Father in heaven, the words of others can wound us deeply. Your words to us heal and comfort, and You assure us that we are loved forever.
The true measure of God’s love is that He loves without measure. Bernard of Clairvaux
The answer doesn’t seem to be what we might have expected. Without explanation, the songwriter seems to be like a television viewer changing channels. Suddenly the issue is no longer how long others are going to say thoughtless things about him, but rather how long his God is going to love him unconditionally—forever. The thought is better than warm milk and a soft pillow. With the love of God filling his heart, the words of enemies fade into silence. How does God’s unconditional love comfort you?
To read more about God’s love go to God Is Love at discoveryseries.org/q0612.