Ask and listen
Have you ever been guilty of accusing someone before you knew all the facts? If so, be aware that you’re tugging on the same end of the rope as Satan, the official ‘accuser’ of God’s children. The Bible says: ‘The accuser of our brothers and sisters… who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.’ (Revelation 12:10 NIV) Emotional and spiritual maturity demand that you first search for understanding, rather than making a hasty accusation.
Look at the example God gave us in the Garden of Eden. He could easily have said, ‘Adam and Eve, you unappreciative sinners, I should never have trusted you in My garden!’ God’s non-accusatory style in confronting Adam and Eve about their sin supplies a powerful model for those of us who tend to speak before we’re in possession of all the relevant information.
The Bible says: ‘The Lord God called to Adam…“Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”’ (Genesis 3:9–11 NKJV)
Notice God already knew the answers to all three questions He asked. Nevertheless, He gave Adam an opportunity to explain his side of the story. And in Adam’s case, he couldn’t. However, the divine principle still stands: asking a clarifying question and listening carefully to the response are key steps in overcoming your tendency to criticise or accuse. Have you ever been unjustly accused? If you have, don’t do it to others. Ask, and listen!