What Is a Normal Reaction to Being Falsely Accused?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

I Did What???

We’ve all had this happen to us: a false accusation.

Someone has said something about us or to us about a flaw in our character or our behavior. And we know it’s not true.

How do we respond?

The normal reaction (which recently was mine, too) is anger. Sometimes a lot of anger, depending on the accusation.

And does that help resolve the situation? Rarely.

I Take My Coffee Black

In Tyler Merritt’s new book, I Take My Coffee Black: Reflections on Tupac, Musical Theater, Faith, and Being Black in America, Tyler tells about being falsely accused of sexual misconduct when he was a youth minister at a church.

He knew it was not true. And it made him angry.

But even though he was innocent, he couldn’t shake the voices who accused him. Or even the voices in his head fueling more shame.

It took his mama’s voice to shake him awake to his true identity:

Tyler writes,

“My mom said, ‘Do not believe those lies. Do not let this man define you. Do you hear me, son?’ I could hear her, but only barely, because I was sobbing. This was the first time in weeks that anybody had confronted that loud voice of shame and dared to shout back.
Quiet, you.
Shut up!
You are a liar.
This does not change Tyler’s life.
This does not change Tyler’s effectiveness.
This does not change his worth.

I sat on that bench, soaking it all in, gulping it down like a man emerging from a desert. Sometimes, you just need to hear your mama’s voice reminding you of who you are.”

I Take My Coffee Black

Tyler recovered by listening to voices of hope.

Before You Call the Cops

Tyler’s memoir continues with other stories about bad times and good times and everything in between. He’s brutally honest in his book about what it’s like to be six foot two and black with dreadlocks.

Tyler also writes about a time he was walking down the streets of Nashville wearing his wireless headphones, his sunglasses, and a bandana around his head. As he approached a crosswalk he saw an older white woman in a truck ahead of him.

And he knew. When he got closer, she would be afraid of him. Just because of who he was.

So before he approached her, he took off the hood of his sweatshirt to expose his face, he removed his sunglasses so she could see his eyes, and he put on the biggest, brightest smile he could.

But it didn’t help.

When the woman saw him, she still lost it. She was terrified.

If she’d only known she had nothing to fear.

Tyler was sad about it. He was angry about it, too.

And eventually he made a video to tell the world to see him, really see him, so they wouldn’t be so afraid.

Watch all 3 minutes here of “Before You Call the Cops.”

It’s incredibly moving.

Before You Call the Cops video

Featured Post

We each have our own stories of people reacting wrongly to us. It makes us mad. Rightly so. But there are additional ways we can respond than simply stewing in anger.

For our featured post this week, Theresa shares 5 things we can do when we’re wrongly accused. (She also reminds us of how Jesus responded to false accusations, i.e., he did not engage.)

Read all five things here at Theresa’s blog. (I really appreciate her godly wisdom!) Then add your own links below.


Have you been wrongly accused? How did you handle it?

Share your thoughts in the comments

My thanks to NetGalley + Worthy Publishing
for the review copy of I Take My Coffee Black

I’m linking at these blog parties

1. Share 1 or 2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. (No DIY, crafts, recipes, or inappropriate articles.) All links are randomly sorted.

2. Comment on 1 or 2 other links. Grace & Truth linkup encourages community.   

3. Every host features one entry from the previous week. To be featured, include this button or link back here on your post (mandatory to be featured, but not to participate).

Grace and Truth_Meet Hosts

We encourage you to follow our hosts on their blogs or social media.

MAREE DEE – Embracing the Unexpected
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

LISA BURGESS – Lisa notes
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

TAMMY KENNINGTON – Restoring hope. Pursuing peace.
Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Now Let’s Link Up!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

17 thoughts on “What Is a Normal Reaction to Being Falsely Accused?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, thank you so much for sharing about this book. The video … made me smile and made the tears roll. And by the end, I wish I could just hug him, pour us both a cup each of black coffee and sit for a bit.

  2. Calvonia

    Thank you for this book review. It sounds like a good read. Enlightening, challenging like his short video. I pray for the day when neither the book nor the video will be necessary. When we see one another as fellow brothers and sisters, created by a loving father. We are all different, but we are all truly the same. The way one towers over another, his choice of hair style or his voice or his skin color should not be frightening. Intriguing. But not frightening. Honestly, as a mother and grandmother of black boys/men, I cringe and my stomach turns when I think of one of them removing their hoods and smiling to make someone else feel comfortable. Only to find it didn’t help. Lord help us!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I totally agree with all you’re saying here, Calvonia. “We are all different, but we are all truly the same.” Yes, we are. No one should have to be extra careful because of the color of the skin, yet here we are. Sigh. Still. You’d think we would have changed MUCH more by now. Lord, have mercy.

  3. ~ linda

    Oh Lisa, not only did you give me another new and seemingly great book to read, but I thank you for sharing Tyler’s video, his heart. I had a woman living two doors down who had Black skin. She and I have become dear friends. One day, I found so much compassion in me for her friendship that I had to apologize to her for the way she, maybe, and others with darkly pigmented skin have been treated for years, decades, centuries by people of my color of skin. We had a beautiful conversation then and continue to open up and talk. I have never understood why we treat others differently. I was just raised that way. As a military child, we were all integrated and skin colors did not make someone different in my mind as a child. That continues to this day. Yet, that is not true in this world. I am sorry and apologize for those who treat others poorly, not just for skin color either, but mental acuity, the way someone walks, aged folks, etc., etc. Boy, this got me going. Thanks, sweet friend.

    1. ~ linda

      Upon thinking about what I just wrote, I am also realizing that I cannot change the world with a one-to-one conversation and apology, but it can start there. God changes hearts and it takes us to seek Him Who changes hearts. With those beautiful new hearts, we can reflect the newness in us by changing one heart at a time.

      1. LisaNotes Post author

        Oh, Linda. I so appreciate your story. If everyone would start with a one-to-one conversation and an apology, the world would be changed! Thanks for all you do to make the world a more loving place.

  4. Corinne Rodrigues

    Oh this is so powerful. We’re living in frightening times in India, Lisa. So much hatred and divisiveness based on religion and caste. The worst is that it’s being fanned by the Government in power. Isn’t it so sad how we allow our fear to make judgements and act?
    Journalists and people speaking up are being branded anti-national and thrown into jail. And this injustice is hard to stomach.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *