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Like a Leper

We can't help what others do and say. We can help only what we do. When others start talking about us or fighting against us, we may not be able to control that. It's difficult when people start to slander the righteous. But this is what David had to endure. In verse 11 we read, "I am a reproach among all my enemies." We expect that. "But especially among my neighbors." Now that hurts. "And am repulsive to my acquaintances." That hurts even more. "Those who see me outside flee from me." Can you imagine your neighbors and your acquaintances running away from you as if you were a leper?

What was causing all of this for David? Saul was lying about him. He was telling his assistants and officers, "David said this. David did that." And this gossip, this awful slander, was spreading through the nation, and David was suffering. "I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel" (v. 12). David wanted to be a vessel filled to overflowing, but now he was broken.

What should you do when people start slandering you? First, be sure your life is right. "For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones waste away" (v. 10). David is saying, "Lord, if I've sinned, I'll confess it." Second, trust in the Lord. "But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, 'You are my God.' " (v. 14). Third, remember that others have gone through this. You're not experiencing something unique. Everyone who has done anything for the Lord has been slandered, ridiculed, criticized--including the perfect Son of God. Don't listen to the slander of the enemy; listen to the Word of God. Get close to His heart, and you'll have His help when you suffer misunderstanding.

When someone falsely accuses you, take comfort in knowing that others have gone through the difficulty of slander. Then look to the Lord, for He is your Strength and Salvation. Use this difficult experience to examine your own heart and draw closer to Him.

Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group ( Used by permission. All rights to this material are reserved. Material is not to be reproduced, scanned, copied, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from Baker Publishing Group.

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