Want to Wrap a Little Skin around a Scriptural Concept?

Hey, Dear Sisters! Well, surely after all these years I don’t have to tell you that you are my go-to group and all-time favorite resource for surveys or insights into various Scriptural concepts.Β  God started pressing a topic on my heart about a week and a half ago out of the blue during my quiet time and, since then, I have been all over both Testaments searching every spot where it rears up its head. Now I’d love to add some layers of examples and insights from life experience on top of it. The topic is accusation and it ultimately centers on the enemy as our accuser but I feel like God is leading me to gain some understanding of ways it weaves itself into our human relationships.

If you’d like to help wrap some human skin around an anatomy of accusation, so to speak, I would love to hear your responses to any or all of the 3 questions below. Your really honest answers would help me so much. At the same time, please don’t share anything that would be injurious to another person or that you’d mind being read in the newspaper of a small town because that’s roughly the population of readers we have on this blog. This is not the spot to whisper a secret and I write those words with a grin. I want this to be a candid place and a safe place all at the same time if possible. So, here are the questions:

1. In the course of your adult life, have you ever been painfully accused of something by another person (as opposed to being accused by Satan himself)? If your answer is yes, was the accusation a twisting/distorting of the facts or was it completely fabricated out of thin air? I’m looking into how often the most painful accusations are distortions or perversions of the truth (making them more believable and frustratingly less refutable) versus an outright lie with utterly no tie to the truth.

 

2. In the course of your adult life, have you ever accused someone else of something? If your answer is yes (and for most of us in a candid mood, it will be), did you turn out to be 100% right? (By all means, say so if you did. I’m just trying to look at the concept from several different perspectives.) Whether or not you were wrong, right, or partially right, do you have any regrets about making the accusation? If so, what are they and why?

 

3. In your opinion (and without the benefit of a dictionary), what is the difference between confrontation and accusation?

 

I am so grateful for your insight! You are welcome to leave your comment anonymously if you’d feel more comfortable answering candidly but, again, just make sure you don’t use someone’s name derogatorily or make his/her identity obvious in a negative light. You need not copy and paste the question you’ve chosen to answer but please do identify your response by number: 1, 2, or 3. Limit your answers to brief paragraphs because I’d really like to read as many as possible.

 

You are wonderful! Thank you so much! Pray for me as I continue to listen to God and see how He means for me to serve women in Bible study through this difficult topic. A heap of love to every single one of you!

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336 Responses to “Want to Wrap a Little Skin around a Scriptural Concept?”

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Tara G. says:

    1. Yes, and the accusation was completely fabricated.

    2.I have. The examples I am thinking of now pertain to my children, and at time I was 100% correct and at times I was wrong. I do have regrets because more often than not I was being impatient or frustrated or displaying unrighteous anger and these are my kids! They’re little people who need a good example and guidance rather than my sinful reaction.

    3. Confrontation – biblical – is rooted in prayer, humility, and has an attitude of peace and a desire for restoration and reconciliation of relationship. Accusations are rooted in pride and hurt. Oftentimes, they’re a selfish response. They seem to erupt (even after stewing).

  2. 2
    kathypinkbicyclearkansas says:

    1. A year and a half ago someone accused me of something deplorable. The hurt and shock were immense and I still carry that today even though they were absolutely wrong. That person KNOWS it was not true. I think out of their desperation it was more made up than anything. They took an innocent truth and twisted it and added to it to fit their personal agenda.

  3. 3
    Angela says:

    In my adult life I have been accused of something. The accusation was partly true; however, I was accused for the whole totality of the situation and in actuality I was only responding. But I went ahead and took the brunt of the accusation because trying to explain or defend myself would have actually made me look worse. The person didn’t really care about the truth I think. They were more hurt then anything and I felt like I was the safest person for them to lash out at.

    Thus far Beth, whenever I have accused someone of something I have been right. I don’t accuse people of anything often, so when that intuitive voice of mine goes off I heed to it. What I do is get still, watch and wait to see where God will lead me and to see if it grows and if the intensity gets worse. If or when it does is when I usually speak. If it is mildly nagging at me I usually just watch and pay attention to what God is telling and showing me.

    I think when you confront someone you are trying to get to the crux of a matter. You want them to hear what you have to say, and you are willing to listen to them. Mainly there will be a dialogue taking place. On the other hand when you make accusations, you have usually come to a conclusion and no dialogue usually takes place at this point. If anything there will be arguments and hurtful words going to, to me, when an accusation has been brought because it is like you are not giving the accused the benefit.

    Hope I was clear and hope this helped πŸ™‚

  4. 4
    Amanda says:

    1-Yes, and it was a combination of lies/distortion and outright lies. It was by a family member who I had started setting up healthy boundaries with and that did not go over with; she took my change of behavior and formed in her mind outrageous lies of what was causing it and not only accused me, but called friends and family and co-workers to try and validate her opinion. As hard as a distortion of truth is to take, this was hard for me because even though it was so un-true and out from left field, she was convinced in her mind that it was truth and could not be talked to. Definitely hard dealing with an accuser who refuses to consider anything other than the “truth” they want to believe. Esp. when the person (as in this case) is a Christian (I contemplate whether or not to put that term in quotations) and tries to tell you that their beliefs/accusations were told to them from God. Now THAT is a huge, painful mess to deal with. And I think it happens more often in the Church than we realize.

  5. 5
    Paula says:

    1. Yes, and it was terrible. What especially made me mad was that none of it was done to my face (and it was in church… which, isn’t supposed to add to the fact – but it does as just that same year we were taught on how to handle disagreements and this was not the way.)

    To be honest, I may have said something that may have been out of turn [I am frighteningly honest so I never know when I have or haven’t {you don’t have to keep track of the truth)] but next thing I know people are approaching me with rumours and things they heard from the person involved.

    My biggest problem was that I wasn’t even given the opportunity to know what I had said that was out of turn neither was I given the opportunity to defend what I said (if it wasn’t out of turn)

    From that point on people weren’t talking to me, deleting me off Facebook … because this person was popular and influential. So I felt like they were making accusations at the person I am without even giving me any chance at all to make anything right.

    [Also, I had moved to a different province before the rumours, etc. had actually happened because I am not afraid of confrontation (as opposed to being confrontational)I would have gone about handling it properly.]

    It’s been years and it still gets to me. I want to confront him, I want to forgive him but a part of me (you said be honest) wants to squish him like a bug.

    Also, to this day I don’t know the whole story. All I know are the results of it.

    2. Yes.

    I want to hide under a rock.

    I was WRONG. So wrong. *shaking my head*

    I thought that I was helping a friend and went around telling EVERYONE about the grievance. (BIG HUGE mistake)

    That was the year I learned the real meaning of that story about the feathers in the wind. (http://www.burg.com/2009/02/feathers-in-the-wind/) Also, I learned the value of finding out the facts from the source and if you can’t- not to speak about it. If it doesn’t involve you then don’t involve yourself.

    Now, even when I am right, I approach it with the person involved, when I have a clear head about it. When I’ve sat down and really weighed whether this is a fight worth having (pick your battles, and all). Also, cooling my mind actually helped with realizing where a person may be right or wrong because my natural instinct is to jump to the defense.

    3.confrontation I think is when you have an issue and you battle it out, so its the actual battling it out. Accusation is leaning more toward the words regarding what you allegedly have done. (like in court – the accused is the one who is being charged.)

  6. 6
    Leslie says:

    I was accused of being inconsiderate and self-centered by a dear family member. It felt like I had been “gut-punched”. I went thru every human sounding board I could find to make myself feel better and finally got quiet and prayed and realized there was strong truth in what was said…I just did not want to look beyond her hurt that prompted the accusation in the first place to the truth of what she said…a character flaw in me that needed to be dealt with. God is still working on me and as much as I hated the process, the accusation and soul work it led to may have been one of the best thins that ever happened to me.

    • 6.1
      Beth says:

      All of the comments are so helpful and I deeply appreciate each entry and the vulnerability required. Leslie, I want you to know I will definitely share the point you have made in yours. Please be encouraged that you not only allowed God to accomplish an important work in you but your sharing it here could be used profoundly by Him to accomplish one in us. That, my sister, is redemption. Thank you.

  7. 7
    Kayleigh says:

    COMMENT ON QUESTION #3: Coming from a stand in which, in my own life, I’ve had to learn the difference between accusation and confrontation, I think there is a huge difference. I believe that Confrontation involves one person coming to another with a spirit that is peaceful and humbled, and telling them that they have hurt you, or offended you, and asking them(nicely) if they would be willing to consider working the problem out with you. I believe accusation is harsh, and it is one sided and selfish. The accuser is not taking the other persons concerns or feelings into consideration, and is feeling so hurt that they blame the person that hurt them for everything that happened. Confrontation I think can be good, because you can bring God into it, by asking that person (if they are a believer and are like minded) to pray with you about the situation for it to be resolved in a mature and right way. Accusation pretty much skips the praying part, it’s all emotions.

  8. 8
    Anonymous pastor's wife says:

    1. I’ve been a pastor’s wife for over 35 years. My husband is a staff pastor. About 5 years ago, our church was searching for a senior pastor. During that time a deacon came to my husband (NOT TO ME!!!) and told him I was “telling all” and that I knew “everything going on” from the confidential search team’s meetings…even to when the new pastor was going to come. IT WAS SO NOT TRUE – but just believable enough (because of my husband’s position people would “assume” that I was in the know) that folks would believe the tale. I was so hurt that I tracked down the talebearer and the source of the accusations. I got that story straight and then went to the team (with my husband’s permission) and told them the story. WOMEN – it all came from a comment I made at the nail salon of all places. This is ALL I said when asked if my church had a pastor yet… “Not yet, but I sure hope it will be soon…” It caused so much grief and pain for me. And that deacon then apologized to me for not coming to me first…

    2. Yes I have and it ripped me apart. This was at work – and it was ALL true but I knew the person would most likely lose their job – and they did. I still get a knot in my gut when I think about that event. I do NOT have regrets, because it was the right thing to do. I suffered the loss of some friendships over the situation. But then after it was all over, one woman who isn’t a believer told me that she had been watching me the whole time, and that I was the REAL DEAL. That meant more to me than anything. Remember the novel the Scarlet Letter? I felt like the protaganist of that book…scorned.

    3. I think confrontation comes with some teeth, some motive…hopefully the person wants to set the record straight and clear the air. Conversely, I believe accusation may have the opposite motive. An accuser just wants whatever it is “out there,” whether or not the truth ever comes to light isn’t their priority.

  9. 9
    shannon conner says:

    1) A few years ago I was accused of not being a good worker and a very angry and a possible threat to patients. (I worked for a dentist I also went to church with and this accusation was out of the blue and after 5 years of good employment, with nothing to back it up)Nothing had ever been recorded in my personal files. I was very broken hearted over this and my family and I changed churches to get away from the previous employer and I’ve several times felt the Holy
    Spirit telling I’m NOT what I was accused of.

    2) I don’t think I’ve accused anyone publically but I have in my mind and then found out I was wrong when I knew more about the situation.

    3)I think Confrontation is: going to someone personally and finding out the facts and talking about the problem vs. Accusation being stating things as facts or fact before knowing the whole story.
    hope this helps.:)

  10. 10
    Tanya says:

    number 1 Tanya—I was accused of stealing at a place I worked. And people had a right to think it I guess. In cleaning the breakroom I had taken a water bottle I thought was unwanted and proceeded to use it. When asked I denied taking it but then returned it only to have it returned to ME with loud written accusations for the whole place to read on my locker that I was a thief.

    • 10.1
      Beth says:

      Oh, goodness, Tanya. That really touched my heart. I can picture myself in my younger days turning around and denying something as a first reaction instead of just explaining what happened. I was such a mess. I am so glad you wrote in. I hope you have allowed Jesus to take every bit of the shame off of you that the enemy tried to heap. He is a liar and our God is always true.

  11. 11
    Sierra says:

    1. Yes- painful and stressful custody battle over my first born. His father twisted some truths and threw in some outright lies into court affadavits. It was basically slander. It was painful and made me so angry I had trouble sleeping. This happened during a pregnancy. I knew I needed to forgive and miraculously the Lord took my anger and gave me pity for this man. I still have full custody too. πŸ™‚
    2. Yes- a very close friend of mine has a troubled marriage. I suppose resentment grew in my heart over the way he treated her. When I found out she didn’t see a very personal email I sent (it wasn’t flagged as it had already been seen) I accused him of reading it. And I called him creepy. Ugh. Well he actually hadn’t read it, just apparently glanced through her inbox. I was mortified. It was further muddied when he DID end up reading it. It was just a no-win. I apologized but where do you go from there? Situation is awkward to this day. I hope I learn from it and handle future conflicts with more tact and grace.
    3. Accusations are fueled by our ugly fleshly emotions and come straight from the pit of hell with the intention of casting someone down. Confrontations made wound but they are intended to help someone who needs to face a truth. One brings destruction, the other one (if appropriately responded to) brings life.

    • 11.1
      Beth says:

      Your comment made me think how often accusations probably do arise in really messy custody disputes. Thank you for making sure this scenario was on my radar.

  12. 12
    anony says:

    To answer question 3, I think the difference between confrontation and accusation is the approach. It’s been said many times over to use “I statements,” like “I feel this way when I get called out in a group. I’d prefer if we could talk about my mistake in private.” That’s a whole lot easier to stomach and get a positive reaction than saying, “I don’t like it when you correct me in front of my piers.”

    Also, confrontation, to me, brings up the topic but doesn’t lay blame. It just opens the door for conversation, but accusation jumps to the conclusion that the person you’re talking to is already guilty.

  13. 13
    Melissa Ford says:

    1. Several people in my life with great influence accused me of being insane and mentally unstable for most of my childhood and young adulthood. As an adult they would comment on fearing for the safety of my husband and kids, due to my instability. The facts on the ground were that growing up most of my adult influences did not approve of expressing sorrow, talking out misunderstandings and leaving room to agree to disagree. There were tons of expressions of range and anger towards me, all validated and mostly physical but I was not to express my opinion. This resulted in me isolating myself as a child and teen, sleeping a lot and eventually some self destructive behavior. So, yes, I was acting out and giving them fuel for their accusations. Now that I have a new community around me, encouraging me, training me on how to become emotionally healthy, I handle my fears, concerns and day to day drama with much more clarity and peace. My husband and I have been married 14 years, have 4 great kids and my husband trusts me as a wife and mother. God is on the throne and He does give back what has been stolen!

    2. I accused those adult influences from #1 of not loving me or even liking me. I realize now that even though there were hard times growing up and it appeared I was unloved and not liked that that was a lie. my influences did what they were trained to do and they know it wasn’t right but I truly believe they did not think there were other options. I see now that they do love me, the liking part isn’t as much of a concern for me. But I know they love me.

    3.confrontation-stating a fear or concern about something to someone and looking for clarity and seeking resolution.

    Accusation- stating what you believe is true about a situation…whether good or bad but most likely in the negative sense.

  14. 14
    Kim says:

    I have a person very close to me that I barely know and has caused a great deal of “twisted illusion” of me, to my son adn many others in my old community. The relationship started out just fine, then went from ok to worse. This person is my daughter-in-law. We hardly know each other yet, she has taken me to “slaughter” so-to-speak to others, and making them believe these distortions. I pray for them and their family. They have a son….my grandson, who will be 4 in December. I last saw him when he was 1 week old. I cannot tell you how much was written, blasted and spread around about me. I will stop here, but it hurts to see this situation keep going as time goes by, I don’t let it get the best of me because if I did, it would keep me from moving on. I am a true believer in justification, but not by me. I pray that this situation be resolved if I am able to speak with my son and his wife. I cannot wait to come to LPL!

  15. 15
    Barbara Head says:

    I have chosen to answere question number 3 for a couple of reasons. I have never been accused heinously nor accused heinously. I look at confrontation and accusation in an analogy of football. Confrontation is like a head on hit and every bit necessary. An accusation is like a side or back hit and damages a lot more. Satan constantly accuses us in sly and hurtful ways but God confronts us to allow us to talk things out with him and move forward to a good conclusion. Satan always wants to kill, steal and destroy. Let’s choose Jesus and confront not accuse.

  16. 16
    sandi in asheville says:

    1. Yes, I have been accused of not helping a student. But I had spent time going over what was needed. Same student with a different accusation, truth to it because my heart was angry with him.

    2. Yes, I have accused someone else. I don’t know if I waa correct because I didn’t follow up.

    3. An accusation is blaming. Confrontation will show what is true.

  17. 17
    Redeemed says:

    1. Yes. The accusation was based on distorted truth, mixed in with an (un)healthy dose of false assumption and fueled by gossip. With those three factors, it made things all the more painful and complicated. And difficult to resolve. I was never accused personally, to my face. It was an accusation made to others about me. (Does that make sense? I am trying really had to keep this general and succinct, and honestly, to not dredge up all the hurt and anger. Trust me, my flesh would loooove to sit and type out the whole drama…but that would only serve the Enemy. Nope, not going there.)

    2. Yes, and this is in regard to the same situation as Question 1. Was I right in my accusation? Yes. 100%? Probably not. Only God knows the answer to that. I made my accusation to the person directly. Do I regret it? I have a lot of regrets in life, but this one isn’t one of them. (I am saying “I” here, but it was really “we”, my husband and I both were involved in this. Along with our elders in our congregation. Yes, this was a church thing.)

    3. I have been confronted in life and I have been accused in life. The confrontation was fueled by love with a goal of repentance and restoration (although it’s never fun to have someone play Nathan to your David “You are that man”) The accusation was intended to hurt me. And boy, it did.
    Confrontation has an eye toward resolving the issue.
    Accusation has an eye toward exacerbating the issue.

    These are just my thoughts. I’m anxious to read other comments.

  18. 18
    Anon. says:

    1.) I have been accused of something that was 100% false and it truly broke my heart and just about destroyed my faith. The way other Christians turned on me was what was unbelieveable to me even though the allegations were completely absurd and could be factually proven untrue, people just abandoned me and my husband (who wasn’t even accused of anything). We paid a very high price in the court of public opinion.

    3.) I think the key diference in an accusation and a confrontation is that an accusation is made based on a suscipicion and often done publicly. Confrontation would indicate that you have some sort of proof of wrongful behavior but also that you go directly to the person who supposedly wronged you and tried to deal with them directly, as opposed to exposing them or smearing them to the entire world.

  19. 19
    Shirley Smedley-Theiss says:

    Hey Beth,
    Interestingly, Anne Graham Lotz just launched her newest book: “Wounded”…right along the lines of what you are hearing.
    Time to get this out in the open.

  20. 20
    April Jones says:

    1. Yes – when I was a very new mother I had a pretty trying relationship with my own mother. She accused me of withholding from her access to my infant. Not to get too into it, the accusations were a twisting of the truth – not an out right lie. I think because that was the case it was more painful – because I felt that my valid reasons for protecting my daughter were negated by the one who I always assumed would understand and support my mothering.

    2. Yes – probably more times than I should! πŸ™‚ The one instance that I specifically remember, my accusations turned out to be only the tip of the iceberg – sometimes ignorance is truly bliss – a friendship was destroyed and relationships were damaged over the event. I learned a tremendous lesson though about guarding my toungue and protecting those God has entrusted to me. I don’t regret the confrontation/accusation because it revealed truth about toxicity that I might have continued to engage in had it not personally affected me.

    3. For me confrontation vs. accusation is kind of a distinction without much difference; but if I had to define them seperately – accusation would be questioning an action when you are not 100% sure it is true. Kind of like in a court of law – the “accused” must be proven guilty or found innocent. Confrontation would be presenting a true grievance (your “truth”) to another party hoping for resolution. For example, I confront my husband with my disappointment when he doesn’t do something he says he will do.

    Just my 3 cents. πŸ™‚

    April

  21. 21
    Heidi says:

    1. Yes. I did something that was wrong and confessed and asked forgiveness. But the injured party imagined me to talk about it with others. Which I did not do. Because they imagined me talking about them, they went ahead and slandered me mercilessly to everyone they could.

    2. Yes I have. I was reacting to lies the enemy told me. When I accused and found out I was wrong, I was humiliated.

    3. Confrontation. Having facts and behavior which lead you to a conclusion worth asking about. In private. Accusation. Pronouncing judgement on someone when you don’t have the whole story and you are reacting to your feelings… Or the feelings produced by listening to the lies of the enemy.

  22. 22
    Karen E says:

    1. Yes — painfully accused. Completely fabricated out of thin air because of jealousy and self-blame.

    2. Yes, I have accused someone, and the truth was acknowledged. Regarding the incident I’m thinking of, I have no regrets. The discovery and accusation followed years of difficult relationship, and now some of the person’s past behaviors make sense in light of the discovery.

    3. Accusation is stating knowledge and blame for some action/event on a person. Accusations are made for the benefit of the accuser. Confrontations may include benefit for the accuser, but are made in the hope of benefiting the accused so that behaviors will change. Matthew 18 is the basis for confrontation. For me, I’ve only confronted as led by the Holy Spirit after lots of “Are you sure, Lord? Do you really want me to do this?!?!” Confrontation is pointing out, in love, what is seen. It includes a wondering of why the person is doing something, and offers some hope and support of change. Confrontations haven’t been easy, and they certainly haven’t always benefited me, but God has the plan and I trust Him with the healing and change.

    Thinking through the differences between accusation and confrontation was great — thanks for the exercise, Beth!

  23. 23
    Connie says:

    In your opinion (and without the benefit of a dictionary), what is the difference between confrontation and accusation?

    It has been my experience that a confrontation is focused on the facts of a given situation whereas an accusation is much more personal…. assaulting the person’s character and motivations. It kind of seems similar to the difference between discerning and judging.

  24. 24
    Kimmygirl says:

    1. Yes, and it was a twisting and distortion of the situation– almost like the ‘telephone game.’

    2. Unfortunately, yes. I was not correct in my viewpoint, but I don’t regret making the accusation because then it cleared up the miscommunication.

    3. In my mind, a confrontation is a face to face encounter with another person about an issue, but an accusation is more specific with regard to the other person’s involvement and their actions. Does that make sense?

    Love the thought provoking post this morning! (and you too, dear Mama Siesta!)

  25. 25
    Pam F says:

    Working as a youth minister’s wife I was accused of something. I really believe the woman fabricated it somewhat because of guilt she felt on her part about how she was living her life. She spread her tale around the church and the pastor’s wife took it upon her self to set me straight! I was devastated to say the least because it was not true but I was not believed. I do have to say a few months later the accuser came to me and asked my forgiveness and then went to the pastor’s wife and also explained it to her. I felt so free. I know these things don’t always get resolved but sometimes they do – Praise the Lord!

  26. 26
    Casey says:

    1)yes, several different things actually. Much of it was fabricated and other things twisted out of something that really wasn’t. I have never been a person to hurt or deliberately cause another person heartache.

    2)Yes I did accuse and sadly it turned out to be true. It was a period of infidelity and it destroyed me for years. Sadly more than 7 years later facts are still being revealed. I would love to bury that mess! Regrets about the accusation. ABSOLUTELY …I wish I had been wrong.

    3)Confrontation vs accusation…they both have a dark connotation. I think accusing someone is much more damaging. It seems (at least to me) that confrontation is going to someone with cold, hard facts. Where as accusing is screaming at a girl in high school over the lunch table that she stole my boyfriend. …excuse the terrible analogy. lol

  27. 27
    Jaclyn Bailes says:

    Stepping out here, all of the questions you asked deal with a few of the most painful experiences in my life. Hope it is helpful.

    1. My sister in law accused me of not being hospitable to her and her family. They were staying for a long weekend. She felt as though I could have cooked more and provided more entertainment.

    I was completely taken aback when I heard this accusation from my mother in law. I confronted my sister in law in a phone call months later because she had been avoiding me. I just thought we could talk it through and that she had had time to heal and process. I was wrong she accused me of so many trivial things that supposedly took place that weekend that it blew my mind.

    I could go on and on but I think you get the just.

    2. I have accused my only sister’s husband of being selfish, rude, arrogant, and just mean. We had a confrontation where he was speaking very rudely to me. I quickly let my sister and him know that just because he treats her and everyone else ugly, that he would not be treating me like that. She accepts it and moves forward, because she knows he will never change. I do not know anyone else like him. Every other man in my life kind, respectful, gentle, maybe if in the past I would have had some more unkindness from a man, I could accept it more. But the food taste different at holidays when he is there.

    3.I think accusation is rumor. Meaning discussing it with someone who is not involved. When you are discussing the problem with the involved people then it becomes confrontation.

  28. 28
    Anonymous says:

    1- Yes. This is way too much to explain, but I will say the facts were twisted and distorted with lies mixed in.

    2- Yes. I accused someone of having a problem/addiction to pain medications. I turned out to be 100% right. I regret the confrontation, not the accusation. My idealistic mind thought when she was confronted there would be admittance and I could help her get help. Believing ultimately that she would be freed from addiction and sin. I think I would have chosen a different time and place to make the accusation, even though it would have likely had similar results.

    3-I believe confrontation is the face to face meeting where the accusation is expressed to the person. Accusation is the belief about the person that can be stated to others.

  29. 29
    Amy Beth says:

    Hi, Beth. I miss you. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes. Twisting / distorting. I have chosen to not consume alcohol. I made this decision because I have trouble with “excess” in regards to food and didn’t want to add another category of something to be excessive with and have to dig myself out of since I’m still struggling with food. Unfortunately, some family and acquaintances have seen this as a “holier than thou” attitude and have made their thoughts known to me (i.e. “you’re such a prude”). It is humiliating to try to tell people that since I can’t always treat food without excessiveness, I am trying to just avoid giving myself another category of substances that could be approved while I try to get myself out of the mess I’ve made with food.

    2. Yes, I have accused. My biggest experience with this has been with the birth parents of some of the children I have cared for in my home (foster care or otherwise). Unfortunately, in these cases, whatever I was accusing them of typically turned out to be true. HOWEVER, I could certainly approach the WAY I accused with more wisdom. I hate (h-a-t-e) seeing children abused, misused, etc. so, when I find out that a parent has done “xyz” to the child, I’m not always calm and collected when I have confronted them. It is hard to be a child’s advocate and still be respectful to an abusive birth parent. What I’ve been trying to teach myself to do is to calm down before confronting a birth parent. I’m also trying hard to figure out what the line is (and I believe it is a fine line) between being a child’s advocate and taking up someone else’s offense. I feel like children are so helpless sometimes that we have to stand up for them — BUT, there is a way to take that too far. The ironic thing is that I actually hate confrontation — the only time I don’t hate it is when it involves a child being mistreated.

    (And, for the record, there are plenty of times that I have accused people of other things and been wrong.)

    3. I believe confrontation is when you know that something is wrong and you want it to be corrected. Accusation is when you think something may or may not be wrong and you want the other person to know you know what they’ve done. I can usually tell whether I’m confronting or accusing based on my blood pressure level. πŸ˜‰

  30. 30
    Donna says:

    1 – Yes, distortion of the truth. 2- Yes – no not 100% right and yes much regret. It caused strain and brokenness in the relationship. I’ve learned that each person looks at a situation with different eyes, with different pasts and experiences therefore each situation may not have a right or a wrong but a different perspective from their shoes. I’ve learned I need to remember it’s not about me but to make it all about Jesus instead. 3 – Confrontation is bringing a situation to someone’s attention for discussion where accusation is that situation through the accuser’s eyes only and is very subjective.

  31. 31
    Vicki says:

    1. Yes I was accused. It was more a matter of taking a truth (that I had reservations about a person) and twisting it into an accusation of actual behavior on my part against the person. Which was patently untrue. The consequence has been to cause a rift in our family. And now, years later, the accuser has realized that my reservations about the person were justified. Nonetheless, the damage remains.
    2. I have made just and unjust accusations in my adult life. Regardless of the just-ness, I regret accusations because they carry a bitter aftertaste. Assuming the role of accuser means being judgmental to me. Even if the accusation is just, am I the right person to be making it? If it’s unjust, the consequence is shame for creating a problem where none really existed.
    3. Confrontation is when you choose to make a stand against something that is wrong in an attempt to make it right. Accusation is when you choose to judge something that may or may not be true in an effort to show your superiority; hurt the other person; lash out because you’re hurt; all of the above, none of the above?!
    Now I guess I’ll go to the dictionary to see what those words REALLY mean! haha

  32. 32
    Karlys says:

    1. yes, it was a twist of the truth
    2. yes, but HE kept me from arguing. I then apologized for being angry for so long
    3. attitude: confrontation brings a topic out into the open and accusation points a finger

  33. 33
    Becky says:

    1. I was accused of something that was a distortion of the facts (that I was never allowed to straighten out).
    2. I have accused others of things. Honestly, whether I was 100% right or way off base I’ve felt guilt over it because of the way accusation usually is done, at least in my case – with a bit of ugliness, jealousy, pride, resentment, and/or bitterness thrown in.
    3. I feel like a confrontation should be something done between two people or between a very small number similar to the way it’s described in Scripture. Confrontation shouldn’t be with any intent to hurt or harm, but to help and/or heal. Accusation, in my experience, tends to come from a meaner place or from a place of not thinking through clearly what is being said about another. One may or may not be setting out to harm someone else, but the words usually sting nonetheless. Accusation seems to be out there for more people to hear about and know about than need be.

  34. 34
    Leigh says:

    1. Yes. The accusations were a complete distortion of the truth. This has happened to me by the same person multiple times. They make the story into what they want it to be and tell other family members so that their actions are justified.

    2. Yes I have and I am not always right. I do have regrets because I know first hand what it feels like to be the person on the other side. I do think our human nature is to automatically assume the worse (at least I do) before we get the facts. If we would just sit back and be patient and talk to the person before accusing a lot of heartache would be prevented.

    3. In my opinion accusation is just when you rely on your own understanding and automatically make the story what you selfishly desire. Confrontation is when you wait and confront the person to get the facts before you start accusing.

    • 34.1
      Beth says:

      Leigh, you echoed a very important point that the Lord has placed on my heart in studying for this concept. “I do have regrets because I know first hand what it feels like to be the person on the other side.” I will be quoting you as I make the point. Thank you so much for your vulnerability.

  35. 35
    Anonymous says:

    1. Yes. Without finding out the facts from us, we were accused of some very extreme things by extended family. Without the chance to explain, these family members have chosen to cut off the relationships.
    2. Yes. I think experiencing the heartbreak of #1 has caused me to be much more cautious…
    3. I think it is a matter of heart attitude and what the goal is. Is the goal to confront in love and bring restoration and life? Or is the goal accusation — being “right”, pride, etc.?

  36. 36
    Lindsee says:

    To me, confrontation brings correction (or at least has that motive and intention) and involves two parties. Two sides. Two stories.

    Accusation is typically one sided accompanied by anger, bitterness and self gain that sows destruction instead of restoration.

    How long has it been since I’ve left a comment?! Grin.

    • 36.1
      Beth says:

      Thank you, Lindsee! It’s fun to see you participate on the other side this time because it reminds me of the old days when we first started coming to love you simply through your comments on here. Made me smile. You are gold.

  37. 37
    Siesta says:

    Wow – just read ALL of these and love how ALL of you are agreeing on the confrontation versus accusation definitions.

    Can’t wait to see what Beth does with these.

    I love how Beth trusts us and that we really are her “go-to group!” We truly are part of this ministry. πŸ™‚

  38. 38
    Colette says:

    3. Confrontation: I feel confronting someone is asking someone about a situation, if it is true or not.

    Accusation: I feel accusing someone is telling them they did something whether it is true or not.

    Confronting someone can feel like an accusation to that person so I feel confronting in love is the best way to handle a situation. But we as humans automatically get defensive when confronted or accused! That’s why we need the Holy Spirit at all times!! πŸ™‚

  39. 39
    Jane Doe says:

    I have been accused of some things that were a complete distortion of the truth and completely fabricated by my husband several different times over the course of 26 years of marriage. Every occasion was so heart-breaking to me. I found it so extremely difficult to defend my self against a complete lie! When all my common sense defense arguments did nothing to satisfy this insecure man’s false claims, I felt hopeless to live down the lies. Every time this cycle happened, it whittled away at our relationship.

    I’m not sure if his insecurity led him to infidelity or if his accusations were a projection of himself, He confessed to an adulterous affair before our marriage ended 6 days before our 26th anniversary.

    God, help me to not be a tool for Satan by accusing others falsely… nor to be a tool of his by avoiding confrontation when needed thus enabling fellow Christians in sin. Only through walking with God will we be able to discern the difference.

  40. 40
    Josie says:

    1.Yes, many times I am sure, but one sticks out at the moment. I believe it was a twisting/distorting of the facts, or better yet, this person just plain did not have all the facts (i.e. jumped to a conclusion that was fabricated) Very painful and rather threatening accusation.

    2.Yes, at least I had made an accusation in mind and it turned into a decision about that person(s). Sometimes I have been right, sometimes wrong (it is a recurring problem) I do regret the accusations because they caused me to make false decisions about that persons character, which is unfair to them.

    3.I believe confrontation has a lot more to do with love/respect for that person depending on how it is executed. Accusation just reminds me of someone coming in with β€œguns blazing”. They are right (or I am right) and there is nothing you can do to convince them (or me) otherwise.

  41. 41
    Becca says:

    1. About 10 years ago in my very young adult life, I had sent out an email to a few friends. It was a passage of scripture, followed up by some insight that I felt God had spoken to me. It was meant to be an encouragement of the “keep fighting the good fight” genre. As previously mentioned, I had sent it to several different friends in various life-walks, but I hadn’t sent it in group format. I had sent them individually. (We’re still talking dial-up internet here). Several days later when I was at a friend’s house who had been one of the email recipients, she brought the email up. The other friends had already replied to the email with a “thanks for the encouragement” or “I feel ya” type of response, so I was expecting something similar. Instead I was confronted with a “You crossed the line” sprinkled with some implication of “attacking my marriage”. (Ok, it wasn’t an implication. It was a flat-out accusation.) I was in absolute shock. Never in a million years had I expected the message to be perceived that way. Not only that, but she said that she had shared it with another family member who confirmed with her that this indeed was “the tone” of the email. Great, not only have I been an unintentional jerk, her family… and probably close friends… think I’m one too.
    To be fair, she handled the situation graciously considering *IF* I had really been saying what she perceived. And also to be fair, I have been known to have open-mouth-insert-foot syndrome from time-to-time. So although it couldn’t have been further from what I was meaning, I’ll give the benefit of the doubt that somehow my wording could have been “off” and come across that way. The trouble is, what she had perceived was not AT ALL what I was intending. I tried to explain that. But she had “confirmation”, so my explanation wasn’t really effective.
    Although she and her husband immediately accepted my apology and FORGAVE me, she never actually BELIEVED me. That stung. Deep. What’s worse is that I know that the misunderstanding stung her deeply as well and there was nothing else I could do about it. I felt so guilty. That event drove a wedge in the closeness of our relationship that has never been restored.

    2. Most of my accusing has been done behind the scenes between close friends. (It sounds so much better to word it that way than to call it gossip. *blush*) I don’t consider myself much of a gossiper in comparison to the average woman, but I am definitely guilty, especially if I feel as though something needs “fixing”. I have both been 100% right and just partially right, but in either scenario I have had to confess and ask forgiveness among friends for allowing the conversation to cross over into belittling rather than edifying. I definitely regret making the accusations. My husband is a student pastor, and although that doesn’t make me any more “special” than anyone else, I think that sometimes I go too far in trying to display that I’m still a “normal”, relatable person that my chiming in on an issue may cause someone else to think, “Well if the youth pastor’s wife will talk about this, then it must not REALLY be gossip and it must be ok for me too.” I don’t really think that any of my friends in the adult realm lift me up as a “better Christian” (thank goodness), but that doesn’t mean they won’t use my actions as an excuse to justify theirs if given the opportunity to find an excuse (as I may be tempted to with someone else).

    3. The way I see it, confrontation is still trying to learn something. It presents a scenario while leaving room for knowledge to be corrected or acquired. Typically, it is truth-seeking and has the ultimate purpose of righting a wrong. Accusation already has its mind made up. It doesn’t give a second thought to the idea of further evidence or “maybe I don’t know the whole story”. It is typically sprinkled with arrogance and has the ultimate purpose of belittling or defeating.

    • 41.1
      Beth says:

      Becca, this is so good. And, just so you know, I cannot even count the times something I’ve written (like your email but perhaps a blog post or a part of a study) has been taken to mean something not remotely in my mind. The worst part is that, in retrospect, I could so often see why they took it that way. My stomach turns at the thought.

  42. 42
    Meg says:

    1. Yes–completely fabricated, the person suffers from a mental illness and it was one of her delusions, but since not everyone knows about the mental illness I didn’t feel like I could “out” her and so I just kept my mouth shut. Eventually the truth came out, so I was glad I kept shut of it.

    2.Yes–“You’re lying.” Said it to my kid when I knew he was. He caved. We talked it out. Then we hugged. Then we played Legos.

  43. 43
    Leslie says:

    I am so struggling with this at this exact moment, ohmiword!

    2. My husband and I have listened to a variety of things over the past year with the person who lives above us in our apartment building. We have had to call the cops (because of domestic violence), we got the landlord involved, left a notes for our neighbor to read, along with gifts to try to encourage a friendship and finally the other day I confronted her on one of many issues. I am still hurting over it and unsure of what went wrong and how I should have handled it. We have a young son so our concerns are warranted with the actions of this person, but now there has been an uproar and we have decided that the best choice is to move. I am struggling with whether I accused or confronted and how you know when you should confront another person who isn’t a believer. I also wonder if I should have waited for my husband to handle it and if I wasn’t being submissive in this area. I feel that my actions in confronting have caused more damage because now we have to move just to make the situation go away and protect our son from it. I am now left wondering should I have just put up with those things or was I right in confronting them. I am literally sick over this because my intentions since moving here have been to reach out to neighbors, but this person seems to hate me and all my efforts. It hurts because I so want to honor the Lord with all things in my life.

    3. I so often feel accused and condemned that when I am confronted I immediately want to defend myself to stop guilt from seeping in. But I think that confrontation is Godly and should produce fruit or save someone from making an unwise choice that could harm themselves or another. while accusation is from our enemy-He delights in accusing because he gains from it, so I think that if we are trying to gain something from our actions in talking to a person then we most likely weren’t handling it in a godly manner.

  44. 44
    Kara says:

    One of the most painful times in ministry for my family is when we started busing in 40-80 at risk children into our church. We were asked to help with church growth and when we did things went badly. Our family was esststic over the kids we were reaching but not all of the church shared our same feelings. Rumors about us trying to take over, etc… started. People stopped speaking to us. I heard lies about what we were doing or had done. I was called to the pastor’s office and rebuked: It was bizarre. And it hurt our family so much. We were asked to step down from working with youth. We tried to humble ourselves and just endure it. Over a year went by and no one would give us the opportunity to reconcile. God opened the door for us to minister to at risk kids where they live. The city gave our family a school building to use and the housing projects partnered with us. Churches from all over the city partner with us to bring the gospel so kids can grow up in the lresence of the Lord. God provided but the rejection we went through still stings. My children were hurt the most.

    I’m sure I have believed or said something about someone. I couldn’t tell what to believe about the people who were rejecting me and my family. Maybe I read them wrong. I wish I had been more prepared for the on slot of accusations.

  45. 45
    Kara says:

    I forgot to share what I believe the difference is between accusation and confrontation.

    I think confrontation is trying to address a situation to rectify something. The end goal is to build that person, relationship up.

    Accusation is something someone uses to tear someone down or uses as an excuse to dislike that person. Accusations end goal is to destroy.

  46. 46
    Star says:

    As a teacher, I was recently accused by a parent. There were bits of truth in the accusation…things the child came home and said but that were taken completely out of context or misunderstood. Instead of coming to me and asking me about the situation, the parent went anonymously to the director of the school and went to several other parents in the class. My reputation as a teacher was harmed as well as that of the school. I was very hurt and angry because I felt like the parent should have come to me and discussed things with me first.

    In answer to number 2, as a result of my hurt feelings, I accused this parent of being unchristian, etc. (which I do feel she handled the problem in an unchristian way) but I should not have ever said anything publicly. After accusing her to a few friends and hearing what they began to say about her, I was extremely convicted that I was doing the same thing she was.

    I believe that the difference in confrontation and accusation is that confrontation is about trying to bring correction to a situation by going face to face with a person. Accusation is often based on what a person THINKS and is, in my mind, not done to rectify a situation as much as to bring shame or disgrace to a person.

  47. 47
    Elizabeth says:

    1. Yes. It was a total fabrication out of thin air; I still to this day don’t know why this person made this up about me. When this lie was spread about me to others, no one told me for over a year because it was so ludicrous that they knew it wasn’t true. It was very painful, certainly, but almost comical because there was not an ounce of truth to or nor anything to support it.

  48. 48
    Elizabeth Baehr says:

    1. Yes, I was accused of “making decisions out of fear” when I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy instead of unilateral, from my mother and she told the whole family to pray about it …..I was very hurt and angry. I had prayed about it and had a peace about it and knew I was making the right decision (which it turned out to be the BEST-because there was precancer there). Hurtful when your own mother criticizes you to all your loved one.

  49. 49
    Kay says:

    3. I believe confrontation can be a good thing, with good results, a “clearing of the air” so to speak. Accusation implies assumption and, in my experience, does not usually yield good/happy results.

  50. 50
    Michele says:

    1.) Yes, this has happened. Totally fabricated, but I think they might believe it in their own minds, to be true. It was kind of a twisting of a situation, too.

    2.) Yes. I think it starts out of a place of loving someone but can quickly turn into a “hoity-toity” judgement.

    3.) Accusation – saying that someone did/or said something, but we are not completely sure. I think accusation comes from a place of us above them and what they’ve done or said.
    Confrontation – I think comes from a place of love. Even, accountability. Knowing a person is acting in a way, and going to them about it in hopes they will stop the sin.

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