I am knee deep in a project this week so I thought I
would repost a blog that has received hundreds of hits on the internet. I pray it
ministers to your heart!
Have you ever been rolling along just fine through life
and thinking that all was well when you suddenly get blindsided? Recently, I
was given the assignment of learning how to respond righteously to lies and
slander despite the desires of the sinful flesh.
The particulars of any given situation are not as
important as the point of this posting is to help you to learn how to properly
respond to lies and slander when you are confronted by them and to deal with
the resulting confusion, hurt, and anger.
This is the setting: People from the past re-emerge and they want something,
but not from you. They want something from your children who are adults and
want nothing to do with these individuals and tell them so. And so it begins…
What you learn very quickly is:
Rule #1 about people is that we don’t like to be told
Rule #2 - We want what we want and usually are willing to
go to great lengths to get it.
Rule #3 seems to be that if we cant get what we want the
nice way we resort to any means possible. This is evident by the fact that
there are robberies, murders, and rapes in society. (Jas. 4:2)
Rule #4 – Some people are just mean and ornery because
they do not know Christ. We cannot expect an unbeliever to act like a believer!
They are acting out of their nature. (John 8:44)
In this case the people who have been denied what they want begin to attack,
and the person they attack is you! They drag up every bad true thing they can
remember, and then they add to the pile by inventing things, slandering your character,
telling bald faced lies and spreading these things to people who are important
to you. Your name is being dragged through the mud, your reputation assaulted
and you are baffled by this whole thing.
The first question we always ask is “why.” Why would someone want to hurt you
in this way? This is not a question to spend much time meditating on! When it
involves an unbeliever any of the above 4 Rules will cover it, I am afraid.
When it involves a believer and sadly enough it does happen, you have to
remember that Rules 1-3 can still apply!
Our first response when we learn that lies are being told and we are being
slandered is not usually righteous. Perhaps you have an angry tirade over
the lies and slander that were said about you, and because you are very angry
you sin in your anger. You may be surprised at the kind of venom you are
spewing about the situation and be (foolishly) surprised at the strength of
your flesh and the sinfulness of your heart even after all your years as a
believer in Christ (pride!).
You discover that you are only adding to the sinfulness of this situation, take
a deep breath or two and begin to repair the damage by thinking biblically
The important question you must ask yourself is this:
“How can I respond in a way that glorifies God?”
First it helps to remember what Jesus said, “Remember
the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they
persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will
keep yours also.
John 15:20. Jesus was speaking about
unbelievers, those of the world (John 15:18) He makes it clear that we should
expect such treatment. We should expect to be hated.
We are living lives that are not in synch with the rest
of this world. We are the anti-type, the anomaly. Our morals and values are
different than those of unbelievers and our priorities are those of the Lord.
Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain
from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul. Keep your behavior excellent
among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as
evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify
God in the day of visitation.
1 Peter 2:11-12
Second, remember that we seek to please Him rather than
ourselves (Col. 1:10). Oh! It is so very hard in those moments to push back
against the flesh, when everything inside you screams
let loose and reply in kind to the treatment you have received! The heart
(thoughts, beliefs, emotions, desires) is full of all the wrong
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders,
adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders
.” (Matthew 15:19)
so following your heart is the wrong course of action!
If you want to glorify God in how you respond (1 Pet.
2:1) then you must look to Christ for the example.
For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a
person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there
if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if
when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it,
this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose,
since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in
His steps, who committed no sin, nor
was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not
revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to
Him who judges righteously;
1 Peter 2:19-23
God has enabled you through the ministry of the Holy
Spirit to bear the pain of unjust suffering. While it is a blow to the pride
(which is also a good thing) to not retaliate it is the right response. You can
choose to accept by faith that this trial is a part of God’s methods of growing
and changing you, and that these things are also conforming you to the image
and likeness of Christ.
We will continue this next time, if the Lord wills!