How to Handle Being Lied About
“When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”
1 Peter 2:23
Nobody likes to be lied about, it doesn’t feel good–and with the invention of social media, it’s easy to post or tweet a lie, and then have others read it as if it’s the truth. Some people even go on to like it, comment on it, or share the fake news, therefore compounding the lies. The individuals who choose to use their social media this way are acting in a very immature and vindictive manner.
I’m a grown man and even I have experienced the negativity caused by online fabrications. I can’t imagine what today’s kids in school feel like when an ugly rumor gets started in cyberspace.
Heck, back in the 1990’s when I was in school, if you wanted to tell a lie about someone to get a scandal started, you had to actually tell a person face-to-face, call them, or pass them a note, then the rumor-mill began to churn.
Now, people with poor decision-making skills can simply get on their phone, tablet, or computer to easily stir up a hornet’s nest. When I think about our younger generation, my heart goes out to them. What a tough way to live out what is a very trying time anyway–transitioning from a child into an adult. It’s no wonder teenage suicide is so high.
So what should we do about this? What actions should we take when someone lies about us?
“LET’S GET ‘EM BACK! AIN’T NOBODY GONNA TALK ABOUT ME LIKE THAT!”
For years, that’s how I handled such problems. Because my mind hadn’t yet been renewed by God’s Spirit in me, my knee-jerk response was to scramble, defend myself, and retaliate. But now I recognize where every lie comes from: the devil and his crew. They are the inspiration behind all falsities. Jesus said that Satan is “the father of lies” and that there is “no truth in him” (see John 8:44).
“So Matt, are you saying that every time someone lies, they are possessed by the devil?”
No, that’s not what I’m saying, and let me back up a step here. Yes, they can be possessed by a demonic force if they are not a Christian. However, if someone is a Christian, it’s impossible for any demon to touch them (see 1 John 5:18). Sure, demons can pester and influence us, but they can’t touch or posses us. Christians are literally possessed by the Spirit of God and He will never share your body with an evil spirit in any way. Even you had to die and get a new perfect spirit before He joined you (see John 10:28, Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20, 1 Corinthians 6:19, Colossians 3:3).
Whether a hounding demonic presence around us is strong or weak that is up to us. Demons hang out with us based on what we allow into our lives, minds, and homes on a regular basis (see Ephesians 4:27). They know if you are a Christian so they want to make your life as miserable as you let them. We open up supernatural “windows” for spiritual forces to join us and our loved ones through the things we expose ourselves to consistently. But more than likely, the person who is lying is not possessed. Possibly? Yes. Likely? No.
Friends, the devil influences us spiritually–in our minds. You are a spirit, you’re not just flesh. Please be aware that a spiritual battle is happening at all times of the day and night and we are in the middle of it (see Ephesians 6:10-17). Is every lie coming from a demon? No. We, as humans, have souls. Our souls have unrenewed thinking (see Romans 12:2, Philippians 4:8). Our soul is the customizable part of us–our mind, free will, and emotions. In other words, your soul houses your thinker, your chooser, and your feeler. Your soul makes you, you.
So by having a soul–not to be confused with our spirit, which never changes–we can choose to lie based on our free will along with our thoughts which have been trained to lie by the sin of the flesh and the enemy. However, if we are choosing to walk by our perfect spiritual identity, we won’t lie. To do this more often than not, we must allow our spirit–which is enmeshed with God–to train our soul rather than the flesh and rather than demons from hell. This is the graceful goal we restfully strive to achieve each day (see Hebrews 4:11).
With the combination of old stinking thinking, as well as demonic forces lying to us every chance they get, we can soon begin to act on those lies. To combat this, we must begin to recognize lies and start to sort them out based on the truth of God’s Spirit in us. If we don’t, eventually we will begin to believe lies as the truth. It’s all uphill from there.
Jesus said the devil has only three main goals for his existence: kill, steal, destroy (see John 10:10). You can apply one or all three of these to anything good in your life and if there is suffering the devil is in the midst of it. To top it off, our enemy and his imbeciles know how to bait us the best, they’ve been studying us since Adam and Eve. Therefore, they can cause us even more trouble through temptations.
HOWEVER! In the very same breath of telling us Satan’s M.O., Jesus said, “but I have come so that you may have life and have it abundantly!” (See John 10:10, my emphasis added). Another version says, “I have come so that you may enjoy your life and have it to the fullest!” And another version of the Bible says, “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
A rich and satisfying life! That’s good! That’s what we all want! How do we allow Jesus to give us this gift of a rich and satisfying life? I can tell you that it’s not through defending yourself against the lies of others. Instead, it’s through Jesus. Jesus said that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Let’s break that down so we can have this rich and satisfying life He’s talking about:
- The way. The way to what? To heaven! The way to a peaceful, confident, abundant life! When we do things His way, we get what He wants to give us! When we don’t do things His way, we can expect to deal with problems. Not because He is punishing us, but because problems naturally grow in our lives when we make poor choices that go against our perfect spirits.
- The truth. Jesus didn’t simply say that His words are the truth, but that He is the truth! How amazing is that?! As Christians, we have a God in us who is truth! So when we begin to speak His graceful words over our lives, the lies of the devil stand no chance. This truth builds confidence in us and it also purges our souls of unrenewed thoughts. The world needs truth. We have truth. Truth is good!
- The life. We’ve all heard the saying, “Aaaaaahhh, this is the life.” It is a phrase most people say as they sip on a piña colada on the beach, or while relaxing on a Sunday afternoon. Jesus wants you to have days like that every single day! He wants you to enjoy your life in times of testing, times of trials, times of rebuilding, and even in the mundane times of our regular lives: eat, sleep, work, repeat. He came to give us the life because that’s what He is–THE LIFE!
This wonderful life happens through trusting Him. It happens through acting and reacting how we should as heaven-ready people–even when someone lies about you. Without Christ’s Spirit leading us, when someone tells a tall tale about us, the sin of the flesh will react and our mind will think, “Sick ‘em!” There is no peace in that, we weren’t made for that, and the devil wins in even greater ways when we choose that.
As a Christ-indwelled person, rather than go against your true identity and fire back, you should pray that the person lying about you would come to know God’s grace. My friend, I know it hurts when people lie about you but you’re going to be fine. God uses this stuff for a good future purpose (see Romans 8:28). You simply have to give it time and let Him work it out. You are His child and He loves you. Go to Him for comfort, don’t go to an addiction or anything else, or, anyone else. He is your strength! Tell Him, “This hurts very badly, but I trust you.” He will be quick to respond with, “Everything will be okay, eventually. You’ll see.”
Try to remember that God wants to use all of your painful situations to strengthen you! None of your tears and sorrow gets wasted! He is preparing you for greater things! The devil, on the other hand, wants you to respond to the lies of others in a manner which will destroy your life, steal your joy, and keep you frustrated. So be sure to choose wisely when responding–that is, if you even respond at all. You don’t have to respond.
Speaking of choosing wisely, here is a short prayer that I believe will help you when situations like this arise: “God, please give me the wisdom to be able to handle this like I should.” Why pray for wisdom? Because God will actually give you wisdom at your asking! The Bible says, “If you lack wisdom, you should ask God for it, and He will give it to you generously, without finding fault” (see James 1:5).
So pray! Pray for wisdom to be developed in your life! The seeds are already in you! Remember, you are strong, you are confident, and you are full of peace! By God’s Spirit being in you, He has given you all of these things! Wisdom is inside of you too! Ask God to help it come out of you–and grow big and strong! As you do, soon enough, the lies of others won’t bother you at all, because you know the Truth!
A prayer for you: God, I want to thank you for another day alive. What a gift it is to have yet another chance to impact this world for you. Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of them have believed the lies about themselves, and they shouldn’t. Lots of these dear readers have been horrifically lied about, slandered, and unfairly treated by others. I know you’ve seen it! I know you are just! I know you are sovereign! I pray right now that you strengthen them in their inner-being! Reveal to them that you are using those lies for good! Let them know that what the enemy tries to use for our harm, you use for wonderful things! We are grateful. We love you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 1. Get your copy here!