Have you ever been lied about when you have spoken the truth?

So in secret they bribed men to lie: “We heard him cursing Moses and God.”That stirred up the people, the religious leaders, and religion scholars. They grabbed Stephen and took him before the High Council. They put forward their bribed witnesses to testify: “This man talks nonstop against this Holy Place and God’s Law. We even heard him say that Jesus of Nazareth would tear this place down and throw out all the customs Moses gave us.” Acts 6:11-13 (The Message)

Being lied about hurts! It is like a physical assault on you and, when lies are accepted as truth, it can destroy the very fabric of your life. Those people who opposed the good news of Jesus that Stephen was actively sharing knew this. They used lies in order to bring Stephen down, they employed others to accuse him and took advantage of the confusion. Clearly, Stephen had not been saying the things they said he had, but false belief is a strong adversary.

Jesus said, ‘”You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.” Matthew 5:10-12 (The Message)

If I expect my way to be without trouble then, Lord, help me to see that I need to speak more openly of you. If I am afraid of the persecution that may come from others then, Lord, make me more courageous for you. Amen.