Who thought being falsely accused would be funny?
My earliest memory of being falsely accused of something I didn’t do is also one of my funniest memories from childhood. I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. When I was in elementary school, I made colorful plastic flowers and insects with a gadget called a “Thingmaker.”
I sold oodles and oodles of those pretty little creations to my classmates for only a nickel or a dime apiece. Soon I had a jar full of coins to contribute toward my purchases of more “Plastigoop.” My mom worried I’d get into trouble for selling things at school, so she put a stop to it before the teachers noticed what I was up to.
I already knew what it was like to be falsely accused concerning a business endeavor, for before my “Thingmaker” adventure, I’d set up a lemonade stand at the far end of our driveway. It was summer vacation, and all the neighborhood kids spent a lot of time riding their bicycles and playing hide-and-seek up and down our block.
I was younger than most of the children in our neighborhood, so when a group of older kids showed up at my lemonade stand to purchase a glass for $.25 each, I was ecstatic and honored my venture succeeded. The oldest girl, Susan*, and her younger brother, Dean* (not real names*), complimented me on the flavor and wished me well before they mounted their bicycles and rode off down the street.
But things didn’t end up going well when they showed up again and demanded a full refund; they insisted my lemonade gave them food poisoning.
I shook my head. “I didn’t get sick—so you’re just trying to get your money back.”
They left only to return a few minutes later.
Dean jumped off his bike and said, “Come and see for yourself how sick Susan is.”
I followed the gang to Dean’s house. They didn’t appear as sad as I thought they should be for a group of so-called sick and suffering lemonade connoisseurs. But I was curious to see how Susan was doing.
They took me down to the basement of their family home. It was pleasantly cool compared to the stifling heat outside. We passed through a family room and then entered a bedroom that was dark due to closed curtains and turned out lights. Sure enough, Susan lay moaning on the bed with her covers pulled up to her chin.
Dean pointed to a bucket sitting on the floor beside her bed. “Look—she threw up all the lemonade.”
Susan moaned again as I peered into the mostly empty ice cream pale that contained what looked suspiciously like melted Neapolitan ice cream.
I folded my arms across my chest. “That’s just ice cream. You can’t fool me.”
This old memory reminds me how quick the enemy of our souls is to crash our successes and accuse us of being a failure. He twists things around and tries to distract us from grace as he hurls accusations in our face.
Shame is something he carries around in his bucket because Satan’s biggest bucket-list desire is to discourage the saints. His bucket is filled with a repulsive swirl of slop he smears on us any time we’re having success within our walk with God.
Success attracts Satan’s attacks like a lemonade stand draws kids on a hot summer day.
We need to take a stand against the cleverness of our enemy by keeping the Word of God in our hearts and minds as a ready shield to deflect darts of doubt and condemnation fired against us. If we’re not experiencing any persecution at all, I beg to you warn it’s not a good sign. It’s a warning you haven’t set up anything at the end of your driveway that serves God and offends Satan.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour;
Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
1 Peter 5:7-9 KJV
Lemonade refreshes for a moment; Living Water satisfies forever.
We’re to be busy offering and serving up Living Water in whatever way God has gifted and empowered us to do.
By the way, I never did give my lemonade stand customers their money back. But all of us eventually had a good laugh together. They absolutely got more than their money’s worth dealing with me because not only was I a good salesperson, I was a good sport.
So remember, during trials, Jesus also suffered the persecution of being falsely accused of something He didn’t do; God cares for you even when you’re falsely accused.
Have you ever been falsely accused? Did you cast your care at the foot of the cross?