False accusations are annoying. Not only do these slanderous statements irritate the one they are directed to, they also colour the opinions that other people have with regards to the one being maligned. These false accusations do nothing but damage reputations, destroy friendships, and hinder a person from living peacefully.
But how should we respond when we are falsely accused? That's something we must find out.
Damaging to People, Annoying to God
False accusations, or slanderous remarks, aren't only damaging to people. They also earn the irritation of God, for God does not like a false testimony and a lying tongue. In fact, He hates it. While the victim of the accusations can rejoice at the fact that God defends those who are wrongly accused, that person should not take that as a licence to retaliate or take revenge on the source of the wrong information.
Proverbs 12:22 tells us, "Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, but those who deal truthfully are His delight." While He hates lies, He doesn't want us responding in a way that is contrary to His character.
Have you been falsely accused and are looking for wisdom in how to respond? Here's what you should do when false accusations are made against you.
1. Be Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak
We often react quickly when we are offended. Some of us retaliate to false accusations by lashing out our anger towards the person who hurt us. Others quickly go out and try to wipe their names clean, failing to think first before actually responding. While the latter is better than the former, both ways are unwise.
The Bible tells us that we should be quick to listen and slow to speak. Before reacting or trying to wipe your name clean, try to know first the truth of the matter.
Don't fret. Ask questions and discover what the culprit really said to malign you (see James 1:19-21; Psalm 37).
2. Bring Your Predicament to the Lord
After getting the information and before going out in public, pray to the Lord for the right heart (see Philippians 4:6-7). Often the Lord will just remind you to forgive, and let Him fulfill His promise to exact justice. Remember that God is just, and we are not – thus, it is likely that if we go out and do what we please, we might not do what is just and fair to all (see Romans 12:17-19).
Best of all, forgive your offender and let God guide you. Apply the Matthew 18:15-17 principle which tells us to talk to the offender privately, then with a witness if he doesn't repent, and then with the church if he doesn't repent still. If he doesn't repent altogether, leave the matter to God.
3. Live in Truth
If the accusations are false, they will soon fall to the ground. Continue living your life in truth. Your life will best disprove whatever false accusation was made against you. Forgive your offender, speak the truth, and don't even try to get revenge.
Live to please God, not to clear your name. Live to honour God, not to raise your reputation. Remember that even Jesus made Himself of no reputation so that we could be honoured by God as His sons and daughters (see Philippians 2:5-8). He was ridiculed and falsely accused leading to His death. Yet it was His suffering that saved us. Let your honourable suffering show Christ's character in you.