How to respond when others spread false information about you
"You must not testify falsely against your neighbor..." – Exodus 20:16
In this dog-eat-dog world we live in today, we shouldn't be surprised to hear of stories or reports of people making false claims against others. Aiming to destroy reputations in the eyes of others, some people deliberately speak ill – even unfounded – words against their perceived competition.
This kind of evil happens normally in ungodly circles, where much envy and jealousy resides. But this kind of evil also happens inside the church. Have you been a victim of slander? If you are, read on.
When you are slandered
Slander is defined as "the act of making a false spoken statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone." Every slanderous act purports to destroy someone's name and reputation so that the slanderer can get ahead of the victim.
Slanderers often think that by lying against another person, they are getting the upper hand. While it might appear to be so at the start, sooner or later the lies will be discovered and the slandered victim vindicated. This is because God sees every injustice done under the sun and will mete His righteous justice upon all the victimisers and their victims.
Friend, if you have been a victim of slander, I urge you to hold on tighter to God's goodness. He is your Avenger, your Vindicator who will not rest until justice is served. The Lord Jesus "will not falter or lose heart until justice prevails throughout the earth. Even distant lands beyond the sea will wait for his instruction" (see Isaiah 42:4 NLT).
How to respond to slander
Friends, when you are slandered by another, you have the option to respond the right way. God is gracious, and will make a way of escape, even when you are tempted to retaliate. 1 Corinthians 10:13 assures us,
"God is faithful, and He will not permit you to be tempted above what you can endure, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it."
Here's how we can respond to slanderous attacks against us, based on Psalm 37.
1. Do not fret
"Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be jealous of those who do injustice." (Psalm 37:1)
Friends, don't fret. If what others say about you are mere lies, there's no reason for you to worry. Their lies will be disproved when people see your conduct and hear your speech.
2. Delight in God and live right
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and practice faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:3-4)
Instead of fretting and thinking of a way to clear your name, learn to delight in God in the midst of the circumstances and do what is good and right. God will clear your name in time.
3. Don't retaliate, rather adhere to God's Word
"The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and their tongue speaks justice. The law of their God is in their heart; none of their steps will slip." (Psalm 37:30-31)
The righteous who trust in God must never ever choose to respond to slander in wrong ways. We must learn to simply adhere to God's Word all the time – He won't let us down.