Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them. – Psalm 54:4-5

Man, that expression of David is intense. I like it! It’s so interesting to me that David was considered a man after God’s own heart and to me he seems to ask God to do some of the most brutal things on his behalf… stuff that most Christians nowadays would see as not “Christ-like” or “nice” to even mention, much less ask God to do. Yet this man, David, was intimate with His Father and was a man after His heart. By jove, I’d much rather hold that title of being a girl after God’s heart than the title of “sweet” and “nice” that I typically tend to be labeled.

Have you ever been slandered? Have you ever slandered someone else? I’m not sure if I ever have slandered someone or not (I have gossiped, Lord forgive me), but if I ever have – I’d surely want someone to confront me on it because I have certainly been on the other side. I’m sure there are lots of people who have been slandered. I’m not just talking about what’s seemingly slander and isn’t comfortable to our ego… I’m talking about the real deal, the false stuff that some people like to say or spread about you or your family. Have you ever been slandered by those who call themselves a brother or sister in Christ? Now that’s painful.

I’d really like to know where slander has it’s source, besides the obvious of being “sin”. What could possible give someone the idea to just say false things about another person? I’m sure it could be a lack of understanding, compassion and really knowing someone. But why?  I haven’t a clue, that’s something the Lord and I are still working on together because I don’t comprehend why humans do this.

Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them. – Jude 1:10

I recently had someone not necessarily slander, but more or less make an belittling assumption about my life and they had the gall to actually express it to someone else (not to me). They are ignorant, so I do not fault them for that or for having an assumption… but to belittle me to someone else is just uncalled for. David had the emotions expressed perfectly when he said, “Let evil recoil on those who slander me; in your faithfulness destroy them.” but he also had his focus in the right direction, on God: “Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.” and 54:6 “I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O Lord, for it is good.” In context, I don’t think David was being vengeful against the people who slandered him. He gave it to the Lord to handle, to the only one who can bring about real justice. More often than not, my own reaction is heated when someone is slanderous or makes an assumption about me or my life (or especially my family) and verbalizes it publicly. It’s almost a helpless situation to be in. Someone likely believes the false assumptions and it’s hard to then convince that third party otherwise. My emotions go crazy, I get frustrated.

I’m finding that being slandered has it’s benefits though… it has taught me to recognize it, it has taught me to not make assumptions about others or their lives, it has taught me to never want to do it to another person. As painful as it is, especially coming from fellow believers… God can still turn it around for His glory. His justice looks different than mine, but it is always 10 billion times better.

Slander is mentioned in the bible many many times. After the incident above, I just searched for the term “slander” and there were 43 verse with that word in it!  I like those verses, they are each convicting and encouraging. As followers of Christ, we are to rid ourselves of slander (mentioned in Ephesians 4, Colossians 3, Titus 2 & 3, James 4, 1 Peter 2 and probably some other places). And in 1 Corinthians 4, Paul even talks about how an apostle “answers kindly” when they are slandered. Man, these people knew how to walk the walk!

If you are slandered, answer kindly. If you are slandered, remember this:

Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respectkeeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit. – 1 Peter 3:13-18

I bolded things that speak to my heart and stand out… “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord” is HUGE and foundational to me in dealing with slander. If we are revering Christ as our Lord, then we can answer kindly because our lives and hearts are fixated on Him instead of how we might have been wronged (this life is not about ME, right? Deny yourself…), we can respond with gentleness and respect and certainly keep a clear conscience in doing so because we know that we are eager to do good in all that we do to glorify God!

 We cannot forget that the One who has been slandered before us, is Jesus himself. He was called a drunkard, glutton, false teacher, blasphemer and I’m sure many other things. Imagine how painful that slander must have been… He, being God’s Son, came down to DIE for them and love them – to bridge the gap between them and God, to bring freedom and life instead of our bondage and death/sin. We need to remember this Man, every time we are tempted to want to destroy someone who slanders us or the people we love. Slander hurts… but I think that plus sin, plus a crown of thorns, two pierced hands, pierced feet, beaten bloody body hung on a splintered and torturous tree is much more painful. And Jesus did that, even for the people who slandered Him. He endured far worse, and how we should also when we give it all to Him!

WOW, I love and am continually amazed by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!