Responding to Lies and Slander Part 2

Today I am re-posting part 2 of a blog series on a topic that continues to get many hits.  The topic is on learning how to respond when attacked by lies and slander. The particulars of any given situation are not as important as helping you to learn how to properly respond to lies and slander. I want you to know what the Bible says to do when you are and how to deal with the resulting confusion, hurt, and anger.

The important question you must ask yourself is this: “How can I respond in a way that glorifies God?” 

Your natural man will want to reply in anger, do the words you want to say glorify God? (Prov. 4:24; Prov. 19:1; Ecc. 5:6; Col 3:8) Your first desire may be to attack back, to accuse and to think of every terrible thing you can about those who have hurt you by their words. But if your desire is to glorify God, then you must let the Word of God be your guide.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Ephesians 4:29-31 

In this verse we are specifically told not to use foul language. “Unwholesome” is a nice way of saying “trash” or “garbage.” Paul is telling us not to talk trash to one another or about one another because this grieves the Holy Spirit.  It grieves Him when we tear down someone God has created and who may even be a fellow believer (Jas. 3:8-9). Additionally, Jesus has enabled us to respond righteously by His death and resurrection and in those incidences we choose to ignore that precious gift (1 Cor. 10:13; 2 Cor. 2:9:8).

We are told to put bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor and slander away from us. The temptation to participate in all these behaviors is very strong when a person is being lied about and slandered. But if we want to glorify God in our response we must deny the desires of the heart and obey God.

Your flesh will want revenge! Does avenging yourself glorify God? (Rom. 12:19)
No, of course it does not. To glorify God we must do the hard things in Romans 12. I have inserted the whole passage here for you to read and meditate on. 

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

      3For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 4For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.6Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; 7if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; 8or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
      9Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; 11not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
      14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.17Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 18If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 19Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, IWILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 20“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRYFEED HIMAND IF HE IS THIRSTYGIVE HIM A DRINKFOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.” 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

v 14 - Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. It is difficult to pray for those who curse you! It is difficult to bless them with kind words and actions. And yet, it is what we are called to do.

Take some time today and read this passage and meditate on its truths before tomorrow’s final installment in this series. Let the important truths and imperatives wash over your heart. As the Lord to examine your heart in light of this passage and if you find conviction from the Spirit confess your sin to Him.  He waits with open arms to help you heal these hurts. 

More tomorrow.