I wish I did not have to write about this topic but sadly, this is a real-life issue. At some point in your life, your integrity will be questioned. You will be falsely accused, or become the subject of gossip. Unfortunately, character assassination is real! When our integrity is questioned, we are oftentimes taken by surprise and are hurt and offended. My question to you is how will you respond when this happens? Unsure? Here are my 4 Rs for how to respond when your integrity is questioned:
Recognize Your Limitations. You cannot control what others say about you. Truthfully, you can't really control how they feel or what they think about you either. All you can do is keep being your wonderful self. Just because you are falsely accused does not mean you have to automatically respond! Even Jesus held HIs peace (Matt. 26:63)
*Sometimes responding is not the best option.
Retain Your Inner Calmness. If you must defend yourself, please do so with calmness and dignity. Be very mindful of your tone. Try to keep your words short, concise, and simple. Think about this:
"A soft and gentle answer and thoughtful
answer turns away wrath,
But harsh and painful and careless
words stir up anger. " Prov. 15:1.
* The truth ultimately will be discovered. Meanwhile, you must remain calm.
"And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31-32
Remember Who You Are Do not let what has been said about you change your perception of yourself. Guess what? Regardless of your accusers, you are still smart, intelligent, and beautiful. You are still a unique individual. Be that as it may, real friends will recognize your true self and love you all the same.
*Your heart and actions determine your character, not the words of others.
*You are far bigger than any accusations or gossip anyone could ever say about you.
Remove Thyself Sometimes the best thing to do is simply remove yourself from the situation. I am not advocating extremeness but sometimes, the best thing to do is pray and walk away for a bit. In other words, leave before you do something illegal or say something devastating that you will regret later. The idea is to de-escalate the situation.
* It is almost impossible for a person
to argue alone!
Responding when your integrity is questioned is unfortunately a part of life. Learning how to maturely respond is a much-needed skill in today’s society. Defend yourself when you are led to do so but resist the overwhelming urge to fight evil for evil. When it comes down to it, you can only control yourself and how you respond. Do not stoop down to the level of your accusers. Focus on things far better. You will eventually be glad you did!
Do not be overcome with evil,
but overcome evil with good. Rom.12:1