[After Tertullus presented the charges against Paul,] the governor then motioned for Paul to speak. Paul said, "I know, sir, that you have been a judge of Jewish affairs for many years, so I gladly present my defense before you. You can quickly discover that I arrived in Jerusalem no more than twelve days ago to worship at the Temple. My accusers never found me arguing with anyone in the Temple, nor stirring up a riot in any synagogue or on the streets of the city. These men cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing."
— Acts 24:10-13 NLT
In spite of all the pomp and circumstance, the show of power and the position of Paul's opponents were irrelevant to the truth. What Tertullus, the lawyer for the religious leaders, said was untrue. The religious leaders were trying to use political influence and their show of united power to persuade Governor Felix when they did not have their facts correct. Paul's defense was as simple as it was clear: "These men cannot prove the things they accuse me of doing." I do not know about you, but I am convicted that rather than trying to use many words to defend myself and my position, I need to follow Paul's example and tell the truth, simply and plainly!
Father, I live in a world of many words. I confess that I often use too many words to try to prove myself and do not listen as carefully as I should. Cleanse my heart and keep me from needing the false praise and acceptance of others. Guide my heart so that my words are few, appropriate, and true. Give me a heart that trusts you will validate me and what I say so that I won't try to rely on being overly clever or using fancy or excessive words to gain approval or acceptance. I put my significance in your hands and trust you with my life and my reputation. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.