What Do You Have To Say For Yourself


“Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
Matthew 26:62b NLT

Because I’ve decided that social media can have a positive influence in my life, I’ve been careful to only keep my feed fueled by people that will speak truth and love (and a laugh or two) into my day. One of these people shared a photo this past week that was something I had [literally] NEVER thought about.

The first time I read it, I had one of those “brain explosions”… it’s kind of like a deeper version of what you get when you eat ice cream too fast. I couldn’t dull the intensity of the impact this quote delivered to my soul. This is me. I struggle SO. MUCH. with the lust of vindicating myself. I’ve honestly never thought about asking God to take it away, though. Why would I?

But then the answer became crystal clear:

When was the last time I trusted God to vindicate me?

The REALLY funny thing is this whole week I’ve been reading about all the times in Matthew when Jesus DIDN’T justify himself when falsely accused. There were so many times just during his trial and crucifixion alone! Here’s the one that really got me:

59 “Inside, the leading priests and the entire high council were trying to find witnesses who would lie about Jesus, so they could put him to death. 60 But even though they found many who agreed to give false witness, they could not use anyone’s testimony. Finally, two men came forward 61 who declared, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the Temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” 62 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Well, aren’t you going to answer these charges? What do you have to say for yourself?” 63 But Jesus remained silent.” (Matthew 26:59-62a NLT)

Jesus knew what he had meant by that and proved it to be true just shortly after that interrogation. But in that moment, he said nothing. NOTHING. I would have been ready to explode!! Jesus was talking about himself!!!!!! HE is going to be put to death by YOU MORONS and, in three days, rise to life again.

But Jesus just held his peace. I wish I could see what the calm inside him looked like as that storm around him raged. He didn’t have to yearn for, covet or lust after his own vindication. God already knew the truth and that’s all that matters.

When I’m misunderstood or judged unfairly, do I really believe that God already knows my heart? Do I fight for human approval when it’s really God’s that I’m unsure of? Don’t I trust that I’ve been vindicated once and for all when Jesus died for me?

What an awesome thing to meditate on this week!! If you’re reading this, comment below on how you calm the urge to self-vindicate. I’d love to hear Bible verses that inspire you!!


Dear Lord, I pray the words that St. Augustine also prayed of you – please deliver me from the lust of always vindicating myself. Give me a deeply rooted confidence in your knowledge of me. Give me clarity and courage for all the times that I need to be still and just know you are God. And, give me humility for all the times I’ve misjudged or misunderstood others. Amen.

photo credit: Tom Simpson <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/11279883@N00/31727892545″>Cleric by Terry Dykstra</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a>

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  1. Mike Westendorf

    I often have thought about the angel that strengthened Jesus in the Garden after wrestling with his Father’s will. What was said? What did he give him? Was it the same angel who attended him after his temptation? In the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, when Edmund is accused by the witch, his face is steadfast on Aslan. I suspect his silence came from what was accomplished in the Garden, His knowledge of scripture that needed fulfillment (the lamb before her shearers is silent). Good thoughts Emily!

    • messyworship

      Those are both really powerful images – the angel in the Garden with Jesus and Edmund keeping his face steadfast on Aslan. I get chills just thinking about all these examples!! Awesome inspiration! Thanks, Mike!

  2. Jerry Pettigrew

    Love this perspective. I don’t know that I think on verses but what does calm me in the storm (and that is if I actually think on these things) is holding on to an eternal perspective. Realizing that most of what causes storms are earthly and temporary. At the end of the day and in the middle of the most severe storms. I am his son and that in itself is enough. This identity and relationship cannot be taken or broken and it really is simply sufficient.

    • messyworship

      TOTALLY – the cause of the storm is something earthly/temporary. That’s so good!!! Thanks, Jerry! I’ll be using that one in my storms this week.


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