Integrity-Your Greatest Defense
No matter who we are, there will be people who will dislike us, or have a disdain for us, or even be at the point of hating us. This cannot be avoided whomever you are. This will be true as long as there humans on earth. Those who dislike or hate us will try to find things wrong with us. Some may go as far as to make false accusations against us to harm us. To discredit us.
How do we defend ourselves if we are falsely accused? There is a good chance that no matter what we say it will not be believed by some because of the massive lies about us. What is the greatest defense we can have if falsely accused?
The greatest defense against false accusations is to live a life of integrity. That means to live a life of honesty. That means to live a life of being real and being vulnerable. That means living your life in such a way that is what you see is what you get. Notice we did not say living a perfect life, living a sinless life, living a life of only successes.
All of us are going to fall short at some point in time. All of us sin, yes even if we are born again followers of Christ whom God calls saints. So our defense cannot be because we have lived a perfect life, or because we are so good. No our greatest defense is that we are people of integrity, Our lifestyle of honesty and integrity speaks for us. Looking at our overall godly character most people will end up saying “That just can’t be true about… No way!”
Live a Life of No Appearance of Evil
Our second defense is living a life of no appearance of evil. Which means don’t put yourself in compromising situations. Don’t surround your yourself with questionable people. Don’t live a life that puts questions in people’s mind regarding your character. Another way of saying this is cover your rear. Assume people will try to find evidence of you being in compromising situations. So don’t put yourself in compromising situations.
Overcome Your Past
None of us can change our past, but all of us have control over our future. Some of us have tainted pasts. Some of us have done things that if caught and convicted we would be in jail or prison. Again we cannot change that. But we can turn from the past and live a life of integrity and avoid the appearance of evil for a multitude of years to the point that people would be shocked by our past and will forgive us of our past.
We are to live according to the principles found in Scripture and when we do, we are right with God.
God is Your Final Judge, Not Man
The one main key to overcoming our past is to repent of it and if confronted about our past to be totally honest about it, No denial. No deception. No lessening the sins of the past. No blaming others of the past. Trusting God that if you live a life of integrity and no appearance of evil that He will vindicate you when there are false accusations against you. In the end regardless of what happens God is your final judge, not man. If He forgives you it becomes immaterial if others do not.
My Personal Experience
I had a minor accuse me of having sex with them multitudes of times and even went so far as to say I got them pregnant and forced them to get an abortion. As a pastor these false accusations could have caused me the loss of my job, destroyed my marriage, and caused me to spend years in prison, and have the label of a sex offender. Instead the accusations ultimately went no where. All it took was me cooperating completely with the detective who interviewed me. I volunteered information to him that would prove the accusations false. I was not defensive, but adamant about my innocence. My demeanor reflected a person who was not guilty. My life history for decades shows I am a person of high moral character, that I am determined to live a life of no appearance of evil, that I am honest and very vulnerable. I am known as person who has no hidden secrets. (This in no way means I am perfect, that I don’t have secret sins, that I do not lust, that I am not a broken human being.)
There are many things people could accuse me of that people would find it easy to believe in. There are many areas where I fall short. But when it comes to being one who would cheat on my wife, participate in sexual immorality with anyone (adult or minor), anyone who knows me that is so far-fetched they would never believe it. Does that mean I can never fall into sexual immorality? Absolutely not!!! I am very aware I have that potential in me. That is why I avoid any area of appearance of evil and I make sure to check my heart all the time.
Could this situation gone very bad for me even with me living a life beyond reproach in the sexual realm? Absolutely!! She could have emphasized certain situations to make them appear as evil. Because it was a ‘he said, she said’ situation it would come down to who the jury would believe. If it had gone to court, even if I was found not guilty I would have paid a tremendous price. I am so thankful that it did not occur. But sadly this situation could happen to any innocent party and there is a potential they would be found guilty even if they were not. So I am so thankful that these accusations went no where.
Life a life of integrity and no appearance of evil. Also whenever there are accusations against a person, look at the life of the one accused. Remember a person is innocent until proven guilty. In ‘he said, she said’ situations with no witnesses, the only thing that can be judged is the overall character of the two people and the odds of the accused doing what they are accused of.