Being a child of the 80s, I grew up with a “slight” obsession to playing Atari. I LOVED video games and pretty much mastered every level of every game I played…probably a little known fact to those of you that know me. One of the games I played was called “Defender”. The point of “Defender” was to protect the city against UFO attacks and any aliens threatening to kidnap you to some far away planet. We don’t have that real life threat in our day to day life, but we often find ourselves in situations that feel as though we need to be protected from attack of the aliens.
Many, many years ago I found myself in one of these scenarios. I stood in a room with a friend and she brought up a mutual friend who was in the thick of making some very poor choices in her life. As I stood and listened to my friend, I realized that she was trying to incite me to speak ill of our mutual friend. I had a very deep sense that she was not being a friend to me, nor to our mutual friend, and it became very apparent that she would throw me under the bus to our friend in a skinny minute, as she was trying to do to our mutual friend in our conversation. Thank God, I never contributed any opinions or judgements to the conversation, but the events that followed would’ve made one think that I did. Our mutual friend began to act very distant toward me, and to this day, she will barely speak to me. As I traced events back to that day in conversation with our friend, it became apparent to me that she told our mutual friend I did say something. Now, I know in my heart that I didn’t. The reason why I know is because #1…I have never been a person to go to “that place” in judgement over the types of choices my friend was making. #2…I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that God spoke to me that day to “keep my mouth shut!”. Every time I see my friend (the one making poor choices) my heart is sad because I miss her, and mad because I want to defend myself, but sometimes defending oneself takes us to a place of making another look bad just so we can look good. I’d rather not be “that” person. Thankfully, God reminded me then, and many times since, that He, alone, is our Defender. (I will wait for You, O You this Strength; For God is my defense. Psalm 59:9). There are, of course, times when we can exaggerate circumstances and believe there’s more to a story, or we conjure up things that simply are not true. That’s not what I’m talking about here. There will, indeed, be times in your lives when we must rely on our discernment, and in my particular case, God speaking clearly to keep my words to myself in essence protected me from even worse circumstances. Sure, it’s pretty bad to have a severed relationship with a friend over something you know you never said, but the “glass half full” person in me hopes that she will realize I never said the words our friend insinuated I did.
Our lives take many twists and turns, and most assuredly, we will find ourselves…again…when we feel we must defend ourselves. Let me challenge you with this…First, realize there is a difference in letting people walk all over you and having a steadfast confidence in knowing who (and Whose) you are. There will be times when words are necessary, but know when to say…and how to say…those words. I’ve said in the past to someone making false accusation toward me, “OK, you go and pray about that, and come back to me if God still speaks the same thing to you and we’ll go from there.” There’s one thing I know, and God is NOT a God of confusion. Most accusations people have against us are rooted in how they feel about themselves personally, and we often just serve as the displacement of that. If God’s gonna be our Defender, then let’s take e false accusers to the Him. I don’t need to give anyone a foothold on me to say something I would regret. Use words, when necessary, to point them to your Defender, or use your quiet confidence that you ARE His child in how you deal with accusation.
Maybe you’re going through a rough time right now and darts are being thrown your way of false accusation and all you want to do is fire back like I did in my video game playing days – kill off the aliens- defending yourself. Rest in the power of His promise to never leave you. He really won’t. Just recently, I came face to face with another reality of being mistreated. I really don’t like it, but I know Whose I am. Friend, He’s for you, when no one else is.