People have been falsely accused since human beings began multiplying on the Earth. Not everyone loves the truth. Unfortunately, an outright lie, half-truth, or deceitful tale all come across as having more interest and spark than the plain truth. (Incidentally, half-truths and deceit are still lies, but they have enough twisted truth in them to make them believable.) In most situations, the truth is nothing like the thousands of rumors that fly around it.
Jesus dealt with false accusations during His time in this world. People accused the sinless Messiah of being a glutton and drunk (see Matthew 11:19). If God in the flesh could not avoid lying tongues, then neither will you nor I.
When someone spreads an untruth about us, it is hurtful. Truthfully, it is one of the things I hate most. Untold and irreversible damage has been done to people’s lives and reputations as a result of a false accusation.
In my own life, I have dealt with this problem. My type-A personality immediately wants to confront the accuser with the facts. In some cases, this is the best way to handle the problem. In other cases, it is best to be more tactful. Although I have learned much of this the hard way, I have often asked myself how I am to know which method is best–bold confrontation or more polite ways. The answer is simple: let the Holy Spirit direct you. He knows all, and He knows the best way to handle a situation.
My Side of the Story
When a dispute has taken place or one person’s version of a story has been heard, you can rest assured that there is another side to the story. Unfortunately, we do not always find out the other side. That is why the Bible commands us to withhold judgment. Certainly, we do not condone wrongdoing, but we leave judgment up to God in people’s personal situations.
Recently, I had some very blatant lies told about me. Some of the stories told about me were outright lies. Others were quotes attributed to me that were either twisted or taken completely out of context. It is always best to verify the facts before blurting out what we think we know.
Truthfully, I am reminded of times that I wanted to believe the worst I heard about others rather than consider that there might be another side to the story. When the gossip hits home, I am reminded that rumors are not fair to any person. We should not start them, and we should not entertain them.
What Does the Bible Say?
God’s word has much to say about rumors, both spreading them and dealing with them. When you are the one falsely accused, God has a remedy for you that brings peace. 1 Peter 3:16 reminds us that we should continue living right before God. The accusers will eventually be put to shame. In other words, keep doing right. Eventually, others will see the truth.
Isaiah 54:17 reminds us that weapons formed against His people do not prosper. It also states that every tongue that rises against you in judgment will be proven wrong. When we give these hurtful and frustrating situations to God, He will reveal the truth and bring good out of the situation.
A Look at Me
Whenever someone has brought a false accusation against me, I take time to prayerfully consider if there are ways I could have handled the situation better. Perhaps my tone of voice in saying something was a bit hurtful. Although God does not expect you to condemn yourself or take responsibility for something you have no fault in, it never hurts to ask the Lord if we could have spoken or acted differently in these situations.
After you have prayed about a false accusation, and given it to God, move on. Let it go. Dwelling on it only builds resentment which will spill over into your other relationships. When this happens, we often take our anger out on people who have done nothing wrong.
If you or someone you know has been to prison, lost a job, or divorced over a false accusation, I encourage you to seek godly counsel to deal with this hurtful circumstance. God can bring healing, and if restoration is needed, He can bring that as well.