I’ve Been Lied About: Now What? – Author – Wade Thomas
- Don’t assume the lie will stick.
The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Especially if the moment you’ve learned about the lie, misrepresentation, gossip, or rumor is right after it happened, it might be best to wait a day, or two, or even longer if it’s a more complicated lie with more complex implications. I know it’s hard to wait, because we’re proud people (do you ever notice how much more indignant we get about our own reputations being soiled by lies than others’ reputations), and because anger, even righteous anger, is a powerful feeling. But there is woven into creation by our Creator a reality that lies tend to get exposed, and Proverbs points to the fact that they are often exposed by other human beings once they examine the situation. Wisdom often waits.
Especially if your anger has a good chance of veering you off course into sin (defensive threatening or screaming or retaliating with your own gossip), it’s a good idea to wait a bit and see if a lie that seemed to be believable is seen soon after for what it truly was.
- Consider if you have sin in the matter to repent of, before confronting.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Situations are different, and not each and every one calls for confrontation. Sometimes forgiveness and choosing to leave alone is the prudent option. Big things call for wisdom, which is why Solomon makes clear he so very much wants his son to have wisdom throughout the book of Proverbs. But whether you confront or not, you won’t even be able to see your brother’s sin clearly until you remove your own sin in the matter. Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount above can’t be taken to mean “you’re all sinners, so no one say anything about someone else’s sin,” because He Himself (and the Bible in many places elsewhere) tells us how to confront sin. I think the words here pretty plainly indicate that He’s teaching His believers to remove their own sin in a matter so that they can more clearly see and address the sin against them.
So if confrontation is called for, it is best to prayerfully consider whether you have any sin you need to remove in the situation first.
- Remember who really controls your fate.
I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.
I know what it’s like to worry that the person who gossips, who smears you, who can’t but speak ill of you will destroy your name, your relationships, your future. But he can’t do one thing without the Father ordaining it. Not one. And He works all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. If you have trusted in Jesus Christ, you have your name in a Book of Life that was written before this planet was formed, and nothing and no one can change that. Little birds in the tree outside your window don’t die until He says it’s time. That is the control He exercises over this world.
If you are a true Christian, don’t fret.
Nothing can happen to you that does not first pass through your adoptive Father’s caring hands.
- Leave the end to the Lord.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
God knows the end from the beginning. He knows how He is going to deal with the sin against you, and it will be dealt with. He will either have poured out His just wrath for that sin on His beloved Son Jesus (if the person is or becomes a Christian), or He will judge the person justly with eternal wrath for him in a Lake of Fire. Either way, He will take care of it. You don’t need to hold on to the weight of making that wrong eternally right. It is not yours to make eternally right. It is His.
Letting go of your claim as a Heavenly judge and jury is a wise and Godly thing to do. Yes, seek earthly justice as possible. Yes, confront the lie in a Godly way. But do not replay the moment over and over in your mind or fantasize about ways the other person will be found out and you will be vindicated. Do not clutch your anger about it or “vent” to friends about it. If you do, you are living as though God will not deal with it to make it right.
God is a God of truth. The rebel Satan, meanwhile, is the father of lies. It was a lie from him that led God’s children to sin, and it is the One who called Himself “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” who crushed that Liar on the Cross and in His resurrection. We who have been adopted by God through faith in that Christ are called to be people of honesty and light and truth. He loves truth, and if we love Him we will love what He loves.
And if we trust Him, we will respond to falsehood as He would have us.