Responding to Personal Attacks
“They also that seek after my life lay snares for me: and they that seek my hurt speak mischievous things, and imagine deceits all the day long.”
The pain of enduring personal attacks is experienced by many. Often, leaders will think that they are the only ones who must endure personal attacks, but even laymen will have to endure attacks. Attacks seem to come from all over, especially when people don’t know of any other way to stop what you are doing. One of the hardest things about personal attacks is that those attacking are lying about what they are saying, and it seems as if there is nothing we can do. My friend, I know the pain of personal attacks and the desire to respond, but the Scriptures are clear about what a person is to do when others falsely accuse you. Let me share the scriptural advice with you.
First, don’t listen to what people say about you. The psalmist said that he was “as a deaf man.” In other words, he didn’t look for what they were saying. One of the things you must protect the most when being attacked is your spirit, and you will never protect your spirit as long as you continue to listen to what they say about you. The only person you need to listen to what they say about you is the Holy Spirit. Stop listening to the personal attacks and start listening to the Holy Spirit.
Second, don’t say anything back to them. The psalmist said, “I was as a dumb man that openeth not his mouth.” As tempting as it may be to respond, the best response is to stay quiet. It doesn’t matter what you say, you will never be able to say something to silence those who lie about you. You must understand that they want to know that they got to you, and responding by saying something gives them the pleasure to know that you are listening and the fuel to continue their personal attacks.
Third, let God be your hope of deliverance. The psalmist said in verse 15, “For in thee, O LORD, do I hope…” The one thing that must become apparent to you is that God is in control, and that He can do a better job of defending you than you can ever do. Hope means you have to trust God. Trusting God is never easy in times of personal attack, but you will never be disappointed by trusting in His character and His Word.
Fourth, keep serving God. The whole reason people attack you is because they don’t want you to serve the LORD. However, the greatest testament to your character in times of personal attack is to continue serving the LORD as if nothing has happened. The psalmist was ready to “halt,” but he kept going. It will be difficult to continue doing what you are supposed to do in times of personal attack, but serving God is the reprieve from the attacks of evil people.
Fifth, let the attacks be a time of cleansing. The psalmist said in verse 18, “For I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” Personal attacks are a good time to get rid of any sin that may be hindering you from serving God.
Sixth, be transparent with God in your prayer life. You are going to need times when you must relieve yourself of the pressures from the attacks, and the best way to do this is to get alone with God and let Him know how you are feeling. Personal attacks are never easy, but you will find that prayer has a way of taking the pressures off you so that you can make it every day until God deals with those attacking you.