Grievances and accusations
The accusation was that Paul’s team were throwing the city into uproar “by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practise.”
So the truth was they were annoyed they had lost their income because their slave girl was now free and no longer fortune telling.
However, the truth was hidden. Instead they brought the accusation that the missions team had broken the Roman law of no one being permitted to hold to a foreign cult or have a personal God to worship.
Again, that wasn’t their grievance. But it was their accusation.
Their duplicity of grievance and accusation is revealing.
Grievance is personal but accusation often is brought regarding a bigger picture.
Grievance is personal but accusation often is about breaking established norms.
Grievance is personal but accusation often makes it about others.
When people accuse you they will sometimes draw on these three things and leave out their personal grievance. They can hide their true feelings and their hurts. They will highlight the injustice and the breaking of ‘laws’ and make a whole new scenario. Their goal is to get justice for their grievance and not their accusation. One question is never asked: “why are you really angry, what is truthfully behind this accusation?”
Have you ever wondered why the accusations are simply over the top? It’s because the grievance is underneath simmering away. Often the grievance is more important.
Grievance doesn’t have to lead to accusation. But in some people no matter what you do they will accuse you anyway because the grievance has built inside them.
This is life. This is what Jesus faced. This is what will happen. As you walk with God and do His will you will grieve people and they will accuse you. Be careful on wasting time on your defence. Be gracious. But move on. Do His will.