The following is a transcript of the video above, edited for readability.
There's some tension that's resolvable in a couple of different texts in the scripture, particularly for people in positions of leadership in the church. We're told in the qualifications for an elder that you should be above reproach, even with those outside the kingdom. We're also told over and over and over again, if you love Jesus, the world's going to hate you. Well, how do you have the world hate you and have a good reputation? Well, that's a hard thing. I think at the end of the day, if the world's hating you and you deserve it, then you failed on the first qualification. If it's falsely accusing you, then you're succeeding in the second qualification.
Dealing with it is another thing altogether. That's a difficult emotional thing. All of us, and some of us worse than others, really do end up caring what people think and not just outside the church and inside the church. And these accusations come against us and it can be horribly painful. I've been through that in a really intense way, and so intense that I really had to think about it. And it was in that context that I started a pattern and I follow to this day where I read for my quiet time 10 Psalms each day. And because what you see in there over and over and over again is David and others dealing with this same problem. And what you see also is a zeal and a passion of prayer asking God for vindication.
I think it's vitally important, it's a wonderful test of faith to be able to say to God when you're being assaulted like this, "Lord, I'm not going to answer this. I want to leave this in your hands." Because when God vindicates you, you're vindicated. When you defend yourself, you're usually exposed. So I think it's really helpful for people when they're in that context... Well, let me add this little bit of wisdom too, from Spurgeon. Spurgeon was dealing with a young pastor who was suffering through a whispering campaign in London, and he came to Spurgeon and poured out his heart. And Spurgeon said, "Well, these people that are saying these horrible things about you, what I want you to do, I want you to go home, get on your knees, and I want you to thank God."
The young man said, "Pastor Spurgeon, how can I thank God when they're slandering me and libeling me?" And he said, "Well, I want you to thank God that they don't really know you." One of the things that helps me in dealing with the accusations that are made against me is this, every Lord's day, I make this confession, I crucify the Lord of glory. I did it. Nothing I've ever been accused of is worse than what I've actually done. And if I can hold onto that, that not only did I do this, but in doing this, I have peace with God. And God calls me his son. God calls me his son. Then what difference does it make, what other people are saying?
(Article first published December 10, 2012)