How To Respond To Those Who Lie On You
Being lied on is never fun, as a matter of fact, it can ruin your life. The sad thing is that those who lie on you may never have meant to destroy your life. Sometimes they mean to hurt you for the moment or just get you back for something that made them mad. Sometimes what is an outright lie to you, is a genuine misunderstanding by them. The difficult thing for those who have been lied on is knowing how to respond, and the reason for this is that we tend to assign the same motives to ALL LIARS. I mean, do you really care about the motives if the lie has turned your life upside down? No. All you know is that you have been hurt, your reputation hurt, and your family hurt. So what can you do when someone lies on you.
#1 Make Sure It’s A Lie
If a person says something about you and it’s true, just apologize and move on. Saying you are sorry may not matter to them but it matters to God. “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13) The Psalmist found himself in a similar situation and notice what he said: “Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night, your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalms 32:2-5)
Never worry about what people may say, everyone makes mistakes, everyone sins. Our Lord knew this which is why He said, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.” (John 8:7) Your responsibility is to fix what you did and clear your conscience before God almighty. People with good hearts and true Christians will forgive and forget what you did. Evil people and self-righteous Christians will never forgive you and they don’t matter anyway. Always remember, “Whoever covers an offense seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates close friends.” (Prov. 17:9) Also, “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” (Proverbs 10:12) And lastly, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
#2 Defend Yourself To Those Genuinely Concerned
There are two types of people in the world when it comes to lies being said about you: 1) Those who genuinely care about you and want to know what happened, and 2) Those who do not care about you and want to know what happened. In both cases, you must explain the truth about the situation. Remember, so far, everyone has only heard the liars side of the story and even though you live in a country where it is supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty”, it’s really “guilty until proven innocent.”
The fact that you seem guilty of the lie is a normal thing, no one knows your side. Even God tells us this: “The first one to plead his cause seems right until his neighbor comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18:17) The good thing is that people who know you don’t believe the lie anyway. However, whenever someone comes to you and questions you about what was said, don’t become defensive, assume they are genuinely concerned, let God deal with the motives. “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2) “Do not look on his outward appearance… For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Take this moment to explain the details of what did or did not happen. Be honest. Make it about you and no one else. Leave it there. As I said before, people who know you will believe you. People who don’t know you but have good hearts will believe you. People who have good hearts who don’t know you and may not know what to believe will overlook it and move on. Evil people and self-righteous Christians will never believe you and they don’t matter anyway, as Jesus often said of the Pharisees: "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6)
#3 Resist Angry Outbursts
When lies are told about you, the first reactions are shock, disbelief, wonder, and anger. These emotions mixed together can cause a violent reaction. This reaction can be expressed by an angry response which is totally understandable, but unacceptable to God. You are human and sometimes it’s hard to control emotions. Sometimes you need God’s help. Even the apostles once told Jesus, “Lord increase our faith.” (Luke 17:5)
Being angry is not a sin; sinning out of anger is the issue. Paul said, “Be angry but do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26) Anger only increases the desire to do something bad; “it tends only to evil.” (Proverbs 37:8) In these intense moments, you must act as godly as you possibly can, and “the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” (James 1:20) In this situation, you want to be wise, not a fool like a person who lied on you, “for anger rests in the bosom of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:9) Your emotions are high right now, there will be a tendency to lash out and let everyone know how you feel about the liar. This may happen through phone calls, texts, or social media. Just remember, “A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” (Proverbs 29:11)
You are not the only one being affected by the lie, your family is also. You don’t want to make it worse for your family than it is already. You want to ease the pain, not for other people, but for your family. “A hot-tempered person stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.” (Proverbs 15:18)
#4 Don’t Repay Evil For Evil
An eye for an eye was an Old Testament way of life. As much as we may want to, we can’t reinstitute that way of life. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' "But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. "If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. "And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. (Matthew 5:38-41)
The whole point is that you do not lower yourself to the level of the liar, live above the mess. “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men… Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17, 19-21)
This, in my opinion, is one of the hardest commandments God gives us, to love those who hurt us. Yet, Jesus expressly says, “You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' "But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, (Matthew 5:43-44)
#5 Live Your Life
Too many times we allow what someone has said about us to define us; that should never happen. You are who God says you are and nothing less. Paul said, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) You can’t allow what people say about you to limit you from living the wonderful life God has granted you. The future God has waiting on you is far better than the past liars created for you. As God told Israel, which I have no doubt is the way He feels about you, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:14)
You must forget the things behind you. Oh yes, people will remind you of the lie but God reminds you of the grace. Paul said, “Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14)
Live! Your! Life!
When in trouble Jesus said, “pray and do not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1-2) David found himself in the same situation as you may find yourself in after someone lies on you. I’m going to leave you with his prayer as an example of how you should pray in times of trouble.
Psalms 35, A psalm of David.
1 O Lord, oppose those who oppose me.
Fight those who fight against me.
2 Put on your armor, and take up your shield.
Prepare for battle, and come to my aid.
3 Lift up your spear and javelin
against those who pursue me.
Let me hear you say,
“I will give you victory!”
4 Bring shame and disgrace on those trying to kill me;
turn them back and humiliate those who want to harm me.
5 Blow them away like chaff in the wind--
a wind sent by the angel of the Lord.
6 Make their path dark and slippery,
with the angel of the Lord pursuing them.
7 I did them no wrong, but they laid a trap for me.
I did them no wrong, but they dug a pit to catch me.
8 So let sudden ruin come upon them!
Let them be caught in the trap they set for me!
Let them be destroyed in the pit they dug for me.
9 Then I will rejoice in the Lord.
I will be glad because he rescues me.
10 With every bone in my body I will praise him:
“Lord, who can compare with you?
Who else rescues the helpless from the strong?
Who else protects the helpless and poor from those who rob them?”
11 Malicious witnesses testify against me.
They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about.
12 They repay me evil for good.
I am sick with despair.
13 Yet when they were ill, I grieved for them.
I denied myself by fasting for them,
but my prayers returned unanswered.
14 I was sad, as though they were my friends or family,
as if I were grieving for my own mother.
15 But they are glad now that I am in trouble;
they gleefully join together against me.
I am attacked by people I don’t even know;
they slander me constantly.
16 They mock me and call me names;
they snarl at me.
17 How long, O Lord, will you look on and do nothing?
Rescue me from their fierce attacks.
Protect my life from these lions!
18 Then I will thank you in front of the great assembly.
I will praise you before all the people.
19 Don’t let my treacherous enemies rejoice over my defeat.
Don’t let those who hate me without cause gloat over my sorrow.
20 They don’t talk of peace;
they plot against innocent people who mind their own business.
21 They shout, “Aha! Aha!
With our own eyes we saw him do it!”
22 O Lord, you know all about this.
Do not stay silent.
Do not abandon me now, O Lord.
23 Wake up! Rise to my defense!
Take up my case, my God and my Lord.
24 Declare me not guilty, O Lord my God, for you give justice.
Don’t let my enemies laugh about me in my troubles.
25 Don’t let them say, “Look, we got what we wanted!
Now we will eat him alive!”
26 May those who rejoice at my troubles
be humiliated and disgraced.
May those who triumph over me
be covered with shame and dishonor.
27 But give great joy to those who came to my defense.
Let them continually say, “Great is the Lord,
who delights in blessing his servant with peace!”
28 Then I will proclaim your justice,
and I will praise you all day long.
God bless you!