Grrr. I hate being told that I’m wrong about something especially when there isn’t a way to prove that I’m right. This happened to me just a couple of weeks ago and oh, how I wanted to defend myself and dig up every bit of evidence I could find to state my case; but there was no evidence. It was one person’s recollection of events against another’s.
Ugh. What to do? Just suck it up and let my accuser think she is right? Let anger take root and grow into a tree of resentment that produces a harvest of bitterness? I’ve been down that route. I don’t like that path. It is a dead end that others have travelled before me.
Oswald Chambers, in My Utmost For His Highest quotes St. Augustine “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.” Chambers writes, “Such a need for constant vindication destroys our soul’s faith in God. Don’t say, ‘I must explain myself,’ or, ‘I must get people to understand.’ Our Lord never explained anything – He left the misunderstandings or misconceptions of others to correct themselves.” Is this how God would have me deal with my situation?
As luck/fate/destiny – or more surely, God – would have it, I was reading through Psalms as I was going through this frustration, and I just happened to be reading specific Psalms that referenced vindication. King David understood what it was like to be wrongly accused and I identified with His words…
“Hear me, Lord, my plea is just; listen to my cry. Hear my prayer – it does not rise from deceitful lips. Let my vindication come from you; may your eyes see what is right.” – Psalm 17 NIV
“Vindicate me in your righteousness, Lord my God; do not let them gloat over me. Do not let them think, ‘Aha, just what we wanted!’ Or say, ‘We have swallowed him up.’ May all who gloat over my distress be put to shame and confusion; may all who exalt themselves over me be clothed with shame and disgrace.” – Psalm 35:24-26 NIV
I knew God was speaking to me through his Holy Scriptures. I knew I couldn’t vindicate myself. I knew I had to confess my lust for vindication as the sin it is and I had to trust God with whatever he might, or might not do to vindicate me. I didn’t ask for vengeance. I didn’t want retribution. I didn’t want my accuser to come to any harm. I just wanted to be exonerated by the truth. I wanted Godly justice.
My situation wasn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, it was just two friends who recalled things differently and that disagreement cast an unflattering light. However, there is another one “who accuses [us] day and night before our God” (Revelation 12:10) and that is the devil. His accusations cast more than a bad light on us, they condemn us to hell.
How can we stand against his accusations? We can’t because we are guilty, he accuses us of things we have done or thought. We cannot explain away or defend our actions. We sin. He knows it. He accuses us. We are guilty. It’s that simple. Who will vindicate us?
There is only One who is able to vindicate us and that is Jesus! If we are trusting in the saving blood of Jesus, shed on the cross, we are more than vindicated; we are cleared of all charges and accusations. We don’t need to try to justify ourselves; we can’t and never could. Only God justifies us sinners and declares us to be in right standing before him.
“Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one.” – Romans 8:1, 33-34 NIV
Are you trying to vindicate yourself before God? Are you trying to justify your actions, attitudes, motives, thoughts and words? You can’t. Only God can justify. Only God can vindicate you.
Will you trust God to vindicate you today before all your accusers – both physical and spiritual? Which is more important to you: to fight to be right, or to surrender to Jesus and be right with God?