When Slandered…

John Piper, page 63:

“In the end, the only “good name” that matters is not how men feel about us, but how God feels about us. The ultimate slander came on the cross. “Let God deliver him now, if he desires him” (Matthew 27:43). If? There is no question. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). This is the only good name that matters in the end. This is true riches. This is the glory of Christ.”

Commenting on Psalm 91:5 “Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler,” C. H. Spurgeon wrote:

Note, once more, that sometimes the fowler, when he faileth to take his bird by deceit and craft, will go a hawking after it-will send his hawk into the air, to bring down his prey. It often happens, when the devil can not ruin a man by getting him to commit a sin, he attempts to slander him; he sends a hawk after him, and tries to bring him down by slandering his good name. I will give you a piece of advice.

I know a good minister, now in venerable old age, who was once most villainously lied against and slandered by a man who had hated him only for the truth’s sake. The good man was grieved; he threatened the slanderer with a lawsuit, unless he apologized. He did apologize. The slander was printed in the papers in a public apology; and you know what was the consequence. The slander was more believed than if he had said nothing about it. And I have learned this lesson-to do with the slanderous hawk what the little birds do, just fly up. The hawk can not do them any hurt while they can keep above him-it is only when they come down that he can injure them. It is only when by mounting he gets above the birds, that the hawk comes sweeping down upon them, and destroys them.

If any slander you, do not come down to them; let them slander on. Say, as David said concerning Shimei, “If the Lord hath given him commandment to curse, let him curse;” and if the sons of Zeruiah say, “Let us go and take this dead dog’s head,” you say, “Nay, let him curse;” and in that way you will live down slander.

If some of us turned aside to notice every bit of a sparrow that began chirping at us, we should have nothing to do but to answer them. If I were to fight people on every doctrine I preach, I should do nothing else but just amuse the devil, and indulge the combative principles of certain religionists who like nothing better than quarreling.

By the grace of God, say what you please against me, I will never answer you, but go straight on. All shall end well, if the character be but kept clean; the more dirt that is thrown on it by slander, the more its shall glisten, and the more brightly it shall shine. Have you never felt your fingers itch sometimes to be at a man who slanders you? I have.

I have sometimes thought, “I can not hold my tongue now; I must answer that fellow;” but I have asked of God grace to imitate Jesus, who, “when he was reviled, reviled not again,” and by his strength let them go straight on. The surest way in the world to get rid of a slander is just to let it alone and say nothing about it, for if you prosecute the rascal who utters it, or if you threaten him with an action, and he has to apologize, you will be no better off-some fools will still believe it. Let it alone-let it keep as it is; and so God will help you to fulfill by your wisdom his own promise, “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler.”

And now, ere I close this point, let me observe once more, the fowler, when he is determined to take his birds, uses all these arts at once, perhaps, and besets the bird on every side. So, you will remember, beloved, it is with you. Satan will not leave a stone unturned to ruin your soul for ever.

“Amidst a thousand snares I stand,
Upheld and guarded by Thy hand.”