TRIAL

Picture credit: persuingthepersuer.org

Every Friday, I join an online Christian writing community, Five Minute Friday. We are given a one-word prompt and write – unscripted, unedited, pure free-write – for 5 minutes. The prompt this week is Trial http://fiveminutefriday.com/linkup .

Have you ever been “on trial”? Ever been a part of a court case? Ever been accused of something you didn’t do? Or saying something you didn’t say? Or even saying something in all innocence which has been misconstrued or twisted or misunderstood, taken completely out of context and used in a  attempt to try to break you? Ever been gossiped about, or slandered?  I guess all of us have faced at least one of these scenarios, on more than one occasion.

And what was your reaction? Fight, flight or freeze?  Often our first reaction is to loudly protest our innocence – to fight for our “good name”, our reputation, to show how our accuser is so very, very wrong, to make the other guy feel guilty, ashamed. To try to force them to back down and withdraw the “charges”.  Or we can flee away from the situation, to try to make things disappear, to try to get around the other party by maybe offering settlement.  Or we can simply freeze. Faced with a terrible situation from which there seems to be no escape, sometimes all we can do is become like an automaton, going into autopilot mode and simply surviving.

In James 1:2 we are instructed to embrace trials and consider them “pure joy”, and in James 1:12 to persevere under trial and be blessed.  Mark 13:11 tells us not to worry when we come to trial, as the Holy Spirit will give us the words to say.

What did Jesus do at His trial? He stood silent as a lamb before the slaughterer. He was mocked, questioned,  tortured and didn’t have anything like a fair trial – it was a travesty that the one, solitary man who would ever be completely innocent of any crime, completely sinless, would be so mistreated and yet remain silent, not protesting His innocence, not calling for deliverance by the armies of heaven. He willingly put Himself through this – the mockery, the beatings, the interrogations, the torture, and ultimately His own horrific murder that I, yes I, could be reconciled to God.

How should I react when trials come? Matthew 5:44 and Luke 6:28 have the answer – love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you; bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you.

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