How should I handle false accusations?

Last updated on February 22, 2021

How should I handle false accusations?

Learn from it, resolve it if possible, respectfully defend yourself, and maybe rejoice in it.

Examine yourself

The first thing to ask yourself when you are accused, is: Is there any truth to this? There might be something not true in the accusation, and it might be too strongly stated. That makes it easy to totally dismiss it. But it is good to humble yourself and ponder: is there anything here that is true? Is there anything that I should change, or should repent of? That is very hard when you are accused, but it is very important. The Bible says: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore we are likely to underestimate the sin in our own lives. Getting accused is an opportunity to search our own life for what is wrong.

Go to the accuser

When you can honestly say the accusation is false, the next thing to do is to go the accuser. If the accuser is a Christian, Jesus commands you to. In other cases it’s a good idea as well: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother” (Matthew 18:15). If this does not solve the issue, when your accuser is in the same church, you should go to the church leaders (see Matthew 18:16 and 17).

Advice from the apostle Peter

At this point, when you know that you are falsely accused, and a personal talk has not solved the issue, it is very easy to become bitter and to hit back. Your reputation is being dragged through the mud! However, the apostle Peter gives some very good advice for this situation. When you defend yourself “do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame” (1 Peter 3:16). If you keep calm, in all likelihood the false accusations will be proven to be false, and your accusers will look bad themselves.

Bless your accusers

The Lord Jesus even wants to take you to the next level. Besides keeping calm and not hitting back, you are to bless your accusers: “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them” (Romans 12:14). We should be able to do that, because we know that God is the one who will judge every evil deed. So we don’t have to do that (see Romans 12:19).

A special case of great joy

There is one special case of being falsely accused that should bring you great joy. That is if you are falsely accused because you follow Jesus. For Jesus said: “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12).

If you handle false accusations in this way, then you have seized this opportunity God has given you to grow as a Christian.

Share post