[Jan 27]--Slander

Psalm 41

Have you ever been a victim of a “smear” campaign? It’s got to be one of the most painful, frustrating, and emotionally scarring incidents any of us have ever experienced. I had a couple in high school, and it’s something I’d rather forget. If you’ve never been wounded by the “rumor mill,” then you’ve a very rare case.

In school, in the workplace, or anywhere else you have a gathering of sinners, you’ll find this sort of thing crop up from time to time. I wish I could say that the church is immune from this, but the favorite Sunday lunchtime meal for a lot of Christians is “roasted pastor.” Spreading lies or talking someone down when they’re not present or other verbal assaults can all be lumped under the general heading of “gossip.” All of us have been victims of this phenomenon, and I dare say that most of us have been guilty of it at one time or another.

If you’ve been guilty of this, then I have one word for you: Stop. If you care about your church, your family, or your work experience, then don’t participate in this destructive activity. It’s one of the Enemy’s favorite tools in destroying any godly enterprise, especially the church, and every body of believers must have a “zero-tolerance” policy towards it.

If you’ve been the recent recipient of this, this I have some words of encouragement. The first word: You’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the very best of company—“If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household!” During his entire ministry and culminating at his trial, our Master was publicly accused of everything his enemies could think of. If you’re his follower, you can expect more of the same.

Second, you’re under his special care. In fact, some of the first words from Jesus in the Gospels pronounce a blessing on you: “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Third, and this brings in the passage from today, you do have a Defender and a Vindicator. David, the great warrior, could slay giants, but he couldn’t pull a sword on a smear campaign. It’s like fighting shadows. So what did he do? Appeal to his Lord! Bring it to the Judge of all mankind! The Omniscient One knew all the facts, and he would--at the right time and in the right way--vindicate his servant. Like David’s greatest Descendant, we need to trust in our Father to set the record straight. And he will.

Lord Jesus, how can I be soooo concerned about my reputation among men, when I think about what they said about you? You know me, and I can trust you to take care of my reputation. Please help me to do that.

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