Q. How should a Christian handle false rumors being said about them? I have always ignored rumors figuring that the truth will come out sooner or later and that God protects me from mean spirited people. But as I get older I’m feeling the need to defend myself to set the record straight. Please tell me the Godly way to handle this.
A. According to the dictionary definition, a rumor is a story or statement that people circulate without confirmation or certainty as to the facts.
I’ve tried responding to rumors and I’ve tried ignoring them, but I discovered neither approach works very well. In my experience only prayer works in combating them. That’s because the problem isn’t the rumor, it’s the people spreading it. They don’t care whether a rumor is true or false, they like the attention they get by repeating it. It’s a way to build themselves up by putting others down.
Having a false rumor spread about us is a form of persecution, and persecution gives us the privilege of climbing up on the cross with Jesus. What He did was ask His Father to forgive the people who put Him there (Luke 23:34).
I’m convinced that’s the best thing for us to do as well. Ask the Lord to forgive the people who are spreading the rumor. When we ask the Lord to forgive people who persecute us, He rewards us with a peaceful heart.
Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 5:11-12).