Tears fell from my eyes as I tried to grasp the reality that my name and my family members’ names were being spoken of in a hurtful way, our reputations and character muddied with gross untruths. How could someone I know and love say that about me? How could my family be trampled on in such a misrepresentation of who we are?! Worse, why are people believing this about us?!
I just couldn’t wrap my mind around why someone would say something so hurtful about me or my family. And then I realized whether it was factual truth or not, they were acting out of real emotion, misled or not.
As Bible believers and Jesus followers, we know we ought to avoid speaking falsely about another… but what do we do when someone speaks falsely about us? What if there is untruth being shared and it is directly about us, our reputation, our character, our heart? How do we walk with wisdom and kindness in such an offense?
By nature, I’m a justice-seeker. I long desperately for justice to be given and truth to be known. In my own prideful heart, I figure that I can just do it myself. “I’ll just tell everyone the truth. Then they’ll know the whole story and my reputation will be cleared. I’ll handle it.” But as the Lord has been teaching me: it’s not me who should be handling it. It’s not my job or business to be handling it. It’ll never be me who delivers justice.
Quietly, He’s been whispering to me, “let me be your defender.” More or less, I’ve been fighting Him on that. “No God. You’re not dealing with it quick enough. Do you SEE my reputation being smeared?! Do you HEAR the things they are saying about me? Make it stop, Lord! Show me if I’m in error but also show loudly their error in what has been said! Defend me now, please!”
This has been a process and a whispering over the last couple of years. To date, I still sit (on my hands, most days) without feeling like justice is being delivered in this particular situation. Without truth being laid out and setting me free of the bondage of lies which were spoken. I want justice. I want to be vindicated. But I must remind myself daily: His timing. His way.
What can I do in the meantime to handle these feelings? First, I can check my own heart. I can ask the Lord to make my heart clean and pure towards the person(s) speaking wrongly against me. And when my own heart is clear of bitterness, anger, hatred? Then, I can pray for them. I can pray earnestly that the Lord bless them … and truly mean it. I can speak kindly to them and about them. I can tame my tongue, show wisdom and discernment with my own words, and show them kindness and love.
Most importantly, I can put on the Armor of God every single day. Whether by sin or the enemy’s schemes, I can be ready for whatever comes in each day so that after I’ve done everything to stand, I stand.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6: 14-18
With truth, righteousness, peace, faith, the Word of God and prayer, I can stand. I can stand in His armor, let the Lord bring truth and justice about in His way, and have peace that I am standing and letting God be my Defender. I can know and experience the truth in the midst of a hurtful lie, as He is the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6). No longer do I have to be held captive to the sin of lies because I know the truth and the truth will set me free.
Kayla Anderson is married (for better or for worse) to the one who she knows without a doubt that God created her to be companions with. Together they have four young children, Ezekiel, Asher, Ellery, and Alder, and run a hand-crafted soap shop. She is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and is in a season of learning how to gracefully be the central point and glue of their family. Thank the Lord that she has Him to look to for wisdom, guidance, and strength! She loves reading in the quiet, early morning hours, decorating their sweet little home, writing has been part of her soul since she learned how to write letters, and her love of coffee runs deeper than her coffee pot. You can find more from Kayla on her blog or Instagram.