Denial: de·ni·al: “the action of declaring something to be untrue; the refusal of something requested or desired.”
Has someone said something to you and then when you brought it back up, they denied that they ever said it? It has certainly happened to me. Boy, does that make me mad! People make promises and then don’t keep them and when asked why, they deny they ever made the promise. Everything inside out wants to yell, scream, and fight until they admit that they are lying, and that they indeed DID promise. What I am wanting is to be validated that I am right and they are wrong, because they are the one who is lying by denying that they said what they said. They are refusing me what I feel I deserve.
Peter denied Jesus three times. He denied that he knew Him. He declared that the accusations that he was friends with Him were a lie. The pain that must have caused Jesus. In Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” His desire was that they would have His back, stand with Him, and endure persecution because of their allegiance to Him. Instead, they denied Him. They refused what He so desired from them.
Two kinds of denial and both hurt equally.
Jesus is arrested and condemned and Judas was “seized with remorse“. He returned the money but the chief priests and elders denied releasing Jesus, but kept the money and spent it elsewhere. Judas was so burdened by what he did that he went away and hanged himself. How tragic. Betrayal and Denial can be devastating. Maybe that’s why Jesus taught so often about knowing the truth and living the truth. Being honest, no matter the risks involved, is always the right thing to do, and God will honor it.
KINGDOM LIVING LIVES A LIFE OF HONESTY
Scripture tells us that when Jesus was accused by the chief priests and elders, He gave no answer. He didn’t reply. Now, I have to admit, I was like, “If I were Him, I would have stepped up and defended myself and blown them away with such truth that they didn’t have a leg to stand on and they were put to shame.” And guess what? Jesus certainly could have done that. No doubt. And yet, He chose not to speak.
You know, sometimes it’s best not to open your mouth. People believe what they want to believe whether you speak or not. They are not going to listen nor change their minds anyway, so why waste your breath? Jesus knew that they were determined to crucify Him ad nothing He said was going to change that. They had done everything possible to give reason to have Him crucified. His words were not going to change that, and He knew it. Even in His honesty, they still wouldn’t believe Him.
He took “denial” to a beautifully new level. He denied them the ability to cast blame and accuse Him from His own words. He denied them the joy of catching Him in His words, or twisting something He said.
Has someone denied you? Have they said one thing and then denied they even said it? Have they refused to give you what you deserved? Instead of defending yourself, can you simply keep your mouth shut and actually deny them the satisfaction of trying to blame the situation on you? “I will fight for you while you only keep silent.” Your life speaks louder than your voice in many cases. When people see the way you live, they will know who truly is the honest one. Just as so many people, after the crucifixion, declared, “Truly this was the Son of God.”
May the Holy Spirit give us guidance to know when to speak and when to be silent, when betrayal and denial are dealt to us. And may we be challenged to live a life of honesty with our words.