When we face dangers, our fight-or-flight response naturally kicks in. This response has to be quick in order to get us out of trouble, but there’s actually a third option: to stand your ground.
A few years ago, I knew of a young lady who was recently hired by a hospital as a registered nurse. One morning she arrived at work while still under probation, when she received a “patient abandonment” notice. The day before, the hospital had assigned her to work overtime for a second shift but failed to notify her of this important change.. Because she didn’t show up, the second shift supervisor proceeded to write up an unsound report.
In patient care, patient abandonment is a serious accusation. Not only could this young lady lose her employment, but she could also face disciplinary action by the board, license suspension, or even revocation. This young lady was obviously frustrated; why had the supervisor written her up without proper investigation? Instead of firing back at her supervisor, I advised the young nurse to seek her union and also legal help. It was critical to send the hospital a message that she would firmly stand her ground to clear her name, but to not attack the supervisor. A week later, the union representative showed up with a legal letter, and the hospital management backed off and tore up the patient abandonment report right in front of her!
Now, let’s take a look at how Jesus handled false accusation. In Matthew 27:11, when Pontius Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”, Jesus replied, “You have said so.” Then, Jesus did not say a word; he made no reply, not even to a single charge. Jesus firmly stood his ground. He’s the king of the Jews, no more and no less. He did not need to argue with the Roman governor nor with the Jewish elders and the chief priests. He was who he was. He did not need to fight, he did not need to run, and Jesus took the third option—he stood his ground to glorify God.
Let us pray. Our dear heavenly Father, let the Holy Spirit guide each of us to fully develop the fruit of the Spirit as described in Galatians 5:22-23, and to stand our ground. In your holy son Jesus’ name we pray, amen!
- Thinking back on the last time you were wrongfully accused at work, how could you handle it differently by displaying the fruit of the Spirit?
- How will you prepare yourself to handle false accusations in the future?
Written by Tom Tui. Artwork by Jasmine Chan