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By Mary Lindow
David had his Absalom, Paul had his Demas, who abandoned him, and Alexander the coppersmith, who "had done him much harm." Jesus had Iscariot.
We know all about Judas, so the story holds no drama for us. We forget that Jesus chose Judas after praying all night. They spent every day together for three years, talking, eating together, and laughing. Jesus sent him out in ministry. Judas shared in the miracle of feeding 5,000 people; his hands took the small, round barley loaves from Jesus and tore off hunks of bread for hungry people.
What makes each case of betrayal so painful is that someone who knows your heart—who knows your longings and character—turns from that and chooses to believe you are really dangerous. The mind freezes as it tries to grasp how a friend, someone who knew you deeply, intimately, could turn on you and attack you.
The singer songwriter Michael Card vividly captures the agony in one song:
"Only a friend can betray a friend,
A stranger has nothing to gain
And only a friend comes close enough
To ever cause so much pain."
Betrayal, I've noticed, calls good evil.
It twists a person's true spiritual endowments into something negative, a saintly deficiency or psychological problem. Betrayal causes leaders to not want to trust, to not want to be involved in anything called church, to not be vulnerable, to not open their spirits in worship to God.
Don't give up! You may be tempted to flee, to turn your back on your call.
You are walking where great people have walked before. They are remembered as great because they did not allow the betrayal to stop them. Instead they learned how to turn their pain into greater usefulness for the Lord.
What does it mean to slander?
To make a false and malicious statement that damages somebody’s reputation. To set somebody or something up in opposition to somebody or something else.
But another definition of slander is to take about someone with the intent to hurt them.
To whisper and hiss subtle, condescending, suggestive thoughts that someone is ”missing the real deal.”
II Timothy tells us that in the last days there will be slanderers and false accusers spreading innuendoes and criticism and reporting things unjustly about others.
Scorpions carry poison in their tails;
Snakes carry it in their cheeks,
And slanderers carry it in their tongues.
Character assassination is an intentional attempt to influence the portrayal or reputation of a particular person,
..Whether living or a historical person, in such a way as to cause others to develop an extremely negative, unethical or unappealing perception of him or her. By its nature, it involves deliberate exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person. For living individuals, this can cause the target to be rejected by his or her community, family, or members of his or her living or work environment.
Such acts are typically very difficult to reverse or rectify, therefore the process is correctly likened to a literal assassination of a human life. The damage sustained can be life-long and more, or for historical personages, last for many centuries after their death.
In practice, character assassination usually consists of the spreading of rumors and deliberate
misinformation on topics relating to one's morals, integrity, and reputation.
If the devil has any servants that he values the most, are they slanderers or gossips? I believe they are!
Charles Spurgeon said, "A lie will go around the world while truth is still putting on its boots."
Think about that!
In Psalm 15 David speaks such a powerful lesson about THE PERSON who can truly ascend to a place of Walking with God in a holy high place.
Psalm 15 : 1-5 A psalm of David.
"LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong, and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,
who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken."
If you will notice…this type of person cannot be shaken.
That does not mean that he or she will not be sorely tested, or at times falsely accused or slandered. It meant that these things would not shake them from the knowledge that they walk with God in His Holy Presence SAFELY and confidently even though pressures and pain attack them!
The Lord is a protector…
…And a refuge from slander and accusations!
"How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you,
which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.
In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the intrigues of men;
in your dwelling you keep them safe from accusing tongues."
I encourage you to spend much much time in worship and in hiding the word of God in your heart.
These two weapons act like shields to the soul when attacks and false accusations are unleashed towards you. There will always be those who gain power and prestige for a season through the use of slander or subtle suggestions that imply that you have some how “gone off the rails” and have become a lesser saint!
The Lord strongly addressed this in the following verses:
“Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence;
Whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure."
"Do not go about spreading slander among your people.
Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life.
I am the LORD."
Servant of God! DO NOT let fear grip you and paralyze the Lord’s voice calling to you to serve Him freely!
No man or woman has the authority to tell you to not speak in the Name of Jesus if you are moving from a pure heart and a pure motive! Of Course…you may thoroughly be discussed behind your back and dissected as to why you speak out or flow in the way the Lord might well call you to do!
But remember to be certain it is the Lord that asked you to speak out and then you are able to simply;
“Keep a clear conscience,
so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ
may be ashamed of their slander.” 1 Peter 3:16
Remember this, obedient child of God:
When we are slandered, we answer kindly.
Up to this moment we have become the scum of the earth,
the refuse of the world. 1 Corinthians 4:13
Love lived out and expressed honestly...
...In the hearts that have felt the sting of slander and yet choose to forgive, do a greater work in the name of Jesus and for His Kingdom, than a thousand voices that may shout against injustice or religious forms and practices.
Remember…Jesus Himself endured insults rejection and ridicule.
And yet - He finished the course.
So will you!
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Copyright © 2012 " THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow