Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Were You Falsely Accused? A Spiritual Look at Issues of Interest to Young People

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Were You Falsely Accused? A Spiritual Look at Issues of Interest to Young People

Article excerpt

One of the hardest things to deal with is being accused of something you are not guilty of.

This has happened to most people in one way or another. Sometimes an accusation is said right to your face. Other times you can sense people are thinking something about you that just isn't true, even though they don't come right out and say it. For me, this is the more difficult of the two.

One time, I got a notice telling me that I had a book overdue at the school library. When I looked at the title, I knew I hadn't ever checked out that book. Later the librarian came and asked to take me out of class. She sat down with me in her office and questioned me about the book. I told her that I was certain I'd never had it, because the subject matter was of absolutely no interest to me. She looked deep into my eyes, and I still remember feeling all flushed, afraid she didn't believe me. (In the end she had to believe me; the book was eventually returned by someone else.) Another time, in high school, I was rushing from one class to another with my best friend. The school nurse abruptly stopped me in the hall. She lifted my head up high and looked up into my nose - right in front of everyone. Then she announced loudly that I shouldn't be in school with such a bad cold. I was really embarrassed! But I was also angry because I didn't have even the slightest symptom of a cold. In a few moments she apologized and said that she guessed she had made a mistake - that that was just the way my nose was constructed. It was really hard to forgive her. But I had been taught that this was what I must do. Forgiveness is one of the first things to feel when you have been wronged. Forgiveness sets the stage for healing and reconciliation. Even when we are doing our best to be good, and to do everything just right, other people may still have false opinions about us. Sometimes these are simply the result of misunderstandings. Other times they are due to jealousy toward us. …

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