Read Psalm 17:1-2
1 Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry;
give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit.
2 From you let my vindication come;
let your eyes see the right. (NRSV)
We do get criticised unfairly. Individual followers of Jesus can attract hostility even though they state their case courteously. Any opposition to prevailing views of our cultural opinion shapers is viewed with suspicion or animosity. The church itself is sometimes painted, unjustly, as one large mass of hypocritical dinosaurs clinging to some out-of-date morality.
We need to be very clear that sometimes we can bring such attack on ourselves by a lack of sensitivity or respect, or sometimes sheer lack of discretion in what we say and how we say it. Not all opposition we meet is unjustified.
However, there are times when we ‘cop it on the chin’ for doing and saying what is right and doing and saying it well. We can’t hope to be popular with all: Jesus warns us against popularity seeking. We may not always expect justice and fairness from the ‘voice of the people’ or the mass media, or even civil authorities.
As the psalmist reminds us, our vindication ultimately has to come from God himself. The psalmist knew what it was like to be maligned and mistreated. He pleads his case to God. It is there, and there alone, that justice and fairness are to be received.