Being misunderstood or misrepresented is one of the hardest things there is to deal with. It’s even more difficult when you’re just plain being lied about…
So how should we deal with it when we hear that lies are being told about us?
For me, I consider it a lie about myself if lies are being told about my husband, my children or my church. I don’t separate myself from these three, and if someone is spreading untruths about any one of these, it’s the same as if they lie – straight up – about me, by name.
- The first thing to realize is that lies travel faster than truths all day every day!
“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” – Charles Spurgeon
So, first of all, don’t believe the discouragement of The Enemy that people are only saying bad things about you just because it’s getting the most “press”. People love to talk about the “juicy” rather than the truth. There are always people who believe the best and don’t engage in gossip, even when it seems like there are none left in the world!
- Remember that what others think about you doesn’t define you.
People tell lies and spread gossip for a variety of reasons, but it usually boils down to one thing:
They want to be perceived in a way that is different than the way the truth makes them feel.
What people say about others has more to do with what kind of person they are than the ones they are gossiping about.
- Only defend yourself to the people who are trustworthy with that defense.
Don’t bother defending yourself to the masses…or on social media. True friends are revealed in more in the midst of a storm than in fair weather. If someone will lie about you, then they will lie to you when you try to defend yourself.
Never wrestle with pigs – you both get dirty, and the pigs like it!
- If someone is struggling with believing you, all you can do is pray for them and let your life be the proof.
I’ve learned the hard way that if someone has been a close enough friend for me to expect that they would believe the best about my character, but still they struggle, they’re not as close as I believed they were.
If you are friends with someone who surrounds themselves with people who love to talk about the latest gossip or “concerns” – that friend will choose the gossip over you every time because it’s what they’re most comfortable with.
Gossip – which always involves some form of deception and embellishment – is the number one bonding agent of friends. It makes for fast friends…but not good friends.
- If there’s anything to be learned from the gossip and lies, learn it – grow and move on!
The most hurtful aspect of rumor, innuendo and gossip is that it has a tendency to hit you at your weakest point. So, if you’re a leader, they’ll call you a “control freak”; If you’re a stay-at-home mom they’ll roll their eyes and ask what you do all day; If you work outside the home, they’ll imply that you don’t put your kids first; If you have boundaries, they’ll call you unloving, or worse, unChristlike; If you are sick, they say you have no faith or that God is punishing you; If your marriage is struggling, they’ll call you selfish and say things like “I don’t blame her husband…”
…and on and on it goes.
And if we place our value in the words of others, just because they seem to be godly or are even said in a “Bible Study”, we are left feeling alone and violated…and without defense.
But can I just say…I’ve been doing this longer than many of you who are reading have been alive, and I have seen God defend me, my family, my husband and my church over and over again. It hasn’t always been in the timing or way that I thought I would have enjoyed most…
God’s defense is never like a lightning bolt coming out of the sky zapping the person mid-sentence…
But, over the years, in the midst of the most horrendous slander and abuse people can dish out – when I’ve been terrified to take my children to the grocery store because someone may come up and say offensive and nasty words to them or in front of them – when we’ve had to leave our home because of threats of violence against our family – when very best friends have turned their back and walked away…
I have seen the faithfulness of God.
I have found friendship and solace in people who have believed the best even at their own personal expense and injury.
I have watched my children learn that people aren’t always honest or trustworthy, but God always is!
And I have seen God reveal the truth and expose lies.
But the lesson still remains that even when the lies are revealed, most people don’t care to spread that the way they spread gossip. They’ve moved on to something more interesting…
At the end of the day, I’ve learned that I have to find my strength in the fact that God knows the truth, He knows the hearts and true intentions of all of us, He knows why people feel the need to lie…
I don’t have to understand it, but I can learn from it.
Everything is a choice and every challenge is a lesson. We either grow bitter or better.
And The Enemy wouldn’t be coming after us so hard if we weren’t always trying to move in on his territory!
If you are functioning in truth and integrity and people are lying about you, just know that they did the same to Jesus – and our ultimate goal is to look and be like Him!
Keep your head up – take the high road…it’s much less crowded! God’s got you!
Peace to you…