Dealing With False Accusations

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

It’s a common American phrase we use, especially as children, when we try to deflect hurtful words spoken to us or about us. But if we’re honest with ourselves, those words can cut deeper than we think. I’ve had situations in life when hurtful, untrue things were said about me to other people, and I was judged based on those slanderous statements.

It’s wrong. It’s painful. It’s frustrating.

If this has happened to you, and you are in a season of hurt and pain from untrue words spoken about you, whether inflicted by friends, loved ones, coworkers, or even church/ministry leaders…I am SO sorry!

In my personal experience, people who falsely accuse others or say slanderous things are often acting from a place of unhappiness, pride, selfishness, jealousy, or hurt. One thing I learned quickly is that the devil can use untrue things spoken against me as a tool to cripple me with insecurity, fear, doubt, stress, anxiety, bitterness, unforgiveness, offense, and self-accusation.

Don’t let him have this kind of power over you. The person spewing slander is not your enemy; satan is. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

I was recently reading the Bible when a portion of Nehemiah 6 literally made me laugh out loud. Nehemiah was in the process of rebuilding the wall in Jerusalem, when he found out his enemies were saying all sorts of untrue things about him and his intentions in building the wall.

His reply in verse 8 is awesome: “…Nothing like what you are saying is happening; you are just making it up out of your head.” Seems like an appropriate response when someone is basically lying about you; but in the subsequent verses, the way Nehemiah handled this false accusation is challenging and motivating.  

1. When accusation tries to frighten you, respond with prayer and strength.

In Nehemiah 6:9-10, Nehemiah says: “They (the enemies) were all trying to frighten us, thinking ‘Their hands will get too weak for the work, and it will not be completed.’ But I prayed, ‘Now strengthen my hands.’” The enemy tried to frighten and discourage them from building the wall, but Nehemiah and the Jews prayed to God to strengthen them. Is someone or something trying to scare or deter you from doing what is right or from fulfilling God’s calling on your life? Pray to God for strength to stand firm and to stay focused on the task in front of you.

2. When accusation tries to intimidate you and give you a bad name, respond with action  and confidence.

In Nehemiah 6:10-13, we learn that Nehemiah’s enemies had hired one of his “friends” to pretend to protect him from a false death threat. Nehemiah realized his friend had been bought by his enemies to intimidate him and say false things about him in order to halt progress of the wall.  Scripture doesn’t say that Nehemiah said a word about the false death threat or his friend’s betrayal. Instead, he responded with action--he confidently finished building the wall.

Nehemiah didn’t waste time by validating his enemies’ numerous attempts at distracting him or by harboring unforgiveness and bitterness. After the wall of Jerusalem was built, it was a testament to all the surrounding nations that the Jews finished this with God’s help. It showed that God was truly with them.

By not letting accusation distract us, we are free to complete the task at hand. Do not let someone’s false words or hurtful actions derail you from fulfilling God’s purposes, plans, and callings on your life.

Karen Harmon

Karen Harmon is a wife, homeschooling mother, and physical therapist. She is active in her church serving in worship, small groups, and media. You can connect with Karen on her website, Instagram, or Facebook.

Join the discussion

Teresa December 19, 2017 at 7:14am

This is a confirmation of what God recently spoke to me. A devastating betrayal has left me to ponder my own value and question if I’ve truly heard the voice of God. One of the first places God referred me to was the book of Nehemiah. Thank you for this article.

Rachel December 6, 2017 at 11:58am

Surprising what you can find when you Google "what to do when someone in church is lying about you". I am currently heartbroken by the lies someone I thought was my friend is telling about me. It came to a head two days ago, which is when I actually found out these lies were about me! She had been telling me and others all about the terrible things people were doing to her and her husband and I obviously had no idea she was referring to me. As it stands right now we are waiting for our moderator (we currently have no pastor) to arrange a meeting so we can discuss these issues but your article has helped me look at things with a Godly perspective. Thank you so much and God bless.

Journey October 8, 2017 at 3:05pm

I do home Health care and this lady has an issue She always accused someone off stealing She take different kinds of meds and I think that is her problem but I don't like it at all and it makes me feel uncomfortable being in her house God knows I will never do anything like that and I Hate she feels like that Please tell me what I should do

Amy May 27, 2017 at 2:28pm

There are some cases where people who are clearly in the wrong, w/ many witnesses against them who will use this argument - others are jealous, coveting my anointing, etc. I am dealing with this right now in a ministry and the Lord needs to do something now because it is a very public ministry and people are getting hurt.

PengHoleman May 3, 2017 at 2:25pm

I work in the health field and sometimes I see providers, co-workers being unethical to patients. It really angers me and it makes me sad. We're suppose to care for our patient and present them with treatment that best fit their needs not try to profit from their unfortunate circumstances. A new doctor just joined the practice, he has repeatedly violate regulations in front of me. I'm his nurse part-time, I've been with the practice over a year. He just joined three weeks ago. I've caught him lying to patients about treatments, about what was being said in the room, and worst he cut corners in his clinical work. I couldn't sleep at night knowing what he's doing to our patients. When I pulled him to the side and talk to him about it he gets upset and tell me he's the doctor not me. The crazy thing is, he doesn't do it around others but only me and I know exactly why. Everyone in the practice has been there for a while, I'm the second newest employee after him. I am just a nurse to him and almost everyone in the office has some type of doctor's degree. He knows they'll believe a doctor before they believe a nurse....and he is right. He felt threaten so he told my boss I was causing tension in the office and the patients is sensing it. He said we clash and I constantly work against him. Of course my boss believes him, he's the doctor. Who am I ?? I told my boss everything I saw and heard. I even type up date, time, and patient's name.
The next day I was called to his office. He said this "drama" can't continue and cut my hours so I wouldn't be working the same days that doctor's working. I'm deeply hurt but I don't regret my actions, I can't just close my eyes and pretend I didn't see anything, Its against my whole being. I know doing the right thing is not always easy or without consequences.

Tara May 2, 2017 at 4:27am

I am dealing with the same false accusations right now. I am a professional in a high profile job in a small town and in 2009 my husband and I of 14 years had split up. It took me sometime to allow myself to commit to someone. I dated people but as soon as it became serious I bailed. So in 2010 I was contacted to help a couple that was splitting up. I met her, provided services to them and barely any contact with him. She would text me and ask me to go out with her all the time and when I would say no or I had plans or I was with my kids she would say things like.... I don't know why I have my house listed with you anyway..... It takes a lot for me to quit on a client and that was the first and only time I ever had. So I text them both and said I would not be handling their listing and gave them the number for the agent that would be taking over their listing. A few months later he contacted me, asking if he could take me out...... and at first I said no.... He was persistent and I gave in. Anyway, The first story that she told was that we were friends..... When no one believed that then we were related, cousins, She and my ex are distant cousins.... So distant that he doesn't even know how they are related and now after almost 2 years of not being with him and thinking I was done with all of them they put out a flyer saying that I would list your house and fuck your husband. Excuse the language, with my picture on it. Anyway, I have no proof its them but I hadn't slept with anyones husband. She and he were separated for about a year when we started seeing each other. She did awful things, sent underwear to my house for him, tried to get me fired, reported us to Family and Children services, would message and say horrible things, When I blocked her in everyday she would get her boyfriend to, or her boyfriend would come and threaten us, they kicked in my door, and I could go on and on. Then one day he left, it was high stress for us all. So now after all this time I can't believe I still have to deal with this crap and everywhere I go I wonder if people are thinking theres that whore. I really barely leave my house..... I just don't want to hear about it, talk about it or deal with it.

Lila May 1, 2017 at 8:27pm

Hello I am being accuse of sending letter to church to pastor and his wife and I have since moved on don't know what's in the letter but they are so convince that this is my character. All I can say to them that it not me. I am very hurt about this and I am praying about it.

Jean March 26, 2017 at 6:30am

Thank you so much for this teaching. I am currently in a storm of accusations and blame. The church leadership are saying that during the 18 months at the church I've offended many of the congregation and now apparently I have done 'something physical one Sunday morning' to one of the women leaders. The problem is none of this stuff is being specified so I genuinely don't know what I'm supposed to have done. Apart from the obvious injustice, how can I know what needs to change? I know and recognise Holy Spirit's conviction when I've done wrong. He's always positive and specific and I know exactly what needs to be done to put things right. God never leaves me under a cloud of vague condemnation. I've fasted and prayed and the Lord hasn't revealed any dreadful behaviour that is offending Him. My husband and I have asked for them to speak to us face to face or at least put this 'record of wrongs' in writing so that we know what wrongs I'm supposed to have committed. Please pray for me that I will be brave and continue to work for the Lord. Thanks.

Jennifer March 12, 2017 at 8:48pm

Presently, i'm going through such...being accused fasley by a friend. She called my fiancé which to me is highly disrespectful but my fiancé believes in me and i'm thankful to God.ere is a rumor about her or gossip...the only person capable of saying such is me...i'm always been blamed fasley and I ask myself why? Is there s problem with me? But through this article i'm thankful and I know better. I'll wait on the Lord and in due time he will vindicate me. Thanks so much for the article and the comments from others... very helpful.

Nancy, February 24, 2017 at 4:49am

This article and all comments are timely. That is where I am today. Thanks for all the encouragement and empowering words. God bless you. I feel better that I'm not alone, there are others that have gone through it and they were strong and overcame. I will overcome in JESUS NAME. David worn the battle with Goliath. THE BATTLE IS NOT MINE. IT IS LORDS. AMEN.

Prereeta February 18, 2017 at 2:23pm

I love comforting. amen.

IBITOMI Samuel October 14, 2016 at 9:04pm

This article has given me a very big relief. I'm currently passing through some sort of false accusations orchestrated by a colleague that felt I took what belong to him. He withdrew from contesting for an office because of fear that he cannot win the election. I boldly contested and won. Since then he has been castigating me and gave me names that I don't bear.

Sherri August 30, 2016 at 9:58am

This is very helpful and good practical advice - I have been slandered by relative who is 'big shot' in church. Jealousy is at heart of the matter and I have had others tell me to not get distracted, but this article made it more clear to me. It's hard to not fire back, but that tactic is just the ammunition that the enemy wants. Stay strong and don't look to the left or right. Let God handle it and vindicate.

Autumn May 16, 2016 at 1:33pm

Love! Such wisdom on a hard topic, especially when in our hearts we know the truth. Thank you Karen!

Nomps April 26, 2016 at 6:32pm

This was so timely. Whenever it appears I'm getting my head up just to prove, another accusation gets hurled at me. I too have decided that these things will make me better rather than bitter. There is so much that God protects me from. And sometimes, God gives me the strength to utter, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Whitney April 25, 2016 at 10:44am

I deal with this everyday at work. One of the hardest parts of my job when someone doesn't get what they want they start tarnishing my name. This is a great reminder to stay focused on God's word. He will help others know the truth about me and if His plan is for me to be at my job then no weapon can come against me! Thank you for the reminder!

Grateful April 21, 2016 at 5:27am

Amen. Thank you

Uduak April 18, 2016 at 3:30pm

Your article truly hits the nail on the head. It really hurts, but the focus has to be on God right. The tough part is the desire to want to 'clear your name', when people who should know you are now propagating falsehood. It's sad!!
Some Christians actually stop attending church cause they've been 'burnt'! No need!
The real enemy is satan and the end-game is to get us out of fellowship with God & our brethren! Stay focused on God, He will sort it all out!

Susan G. April 18, 2016 at 6:21am

Such good words and truth!! And...I laughed out loud too! ;) The bible has it all I tell ya!
Thanks for this!

Rachel April 18, 2016 at 5:01am

Thank you ladies... All three of you. I am in the slew of despondency and I can't see a way out. My whole world has been crushed and decimated. Please pray for my family. We desperately need to be lifted up. Xo

JanRenee April 17, 2016 at 1:16am

One of the hardest things to get over and to forgive is when someone has an opinion about you but they present it as a fact.

Dawn April 17, 2016 at 12:36am

I am a supervisor and an employee was recently fired due to being late many times. Unfortunately, I was the one who had to document quite a bit about the employees continued tardiness, which eventually led to the employees termination.
To try and keep their job the employee said I previously approved the last tardy via a text message. However I never sent any such message and which could be the reason the employee is unable to produce the text with my number sttached to it. I was flabbergasted! This article has truly helped me! Thank you for following the leading of the Lord!

Josévina Philander April 14, 2016 at 3:38pm

Thank you for this article. As God orchestrated I should read this today. I am going through this now and it's even more painful when it comes from family. I told God that I don't want to be bitter but better. My desire is to serve God in spirit and in truth. Like Nehemiah I will focus on the task at hand. Bless you.

Missy April 14, 2016 at 1:46am

This is good! I am gonna go back and read this story...thanks so much!!! I have been in a season where the worst things EVER have been said about me under the guise of a prayer requests. The things are so untrue that I wanted to go and give a letter to the people who were hearing these things but the holy spirit said dont! I cried, kicked, screamed with God because it was so unfair and I wanted to clear my name. God told me that he will clear my name and just keep focused on him. So I obeyed and the funniest thing happened. Someone that was asked to pray for me because of my "horrible behaviors" actually did. God showed them him blessing me, and surrounding me with his glory, and power in a dream! my accuser actually sent me the message! I cried and praise God, and repented for not trusting him. So now I pray that Gods will is done and that he clears my name in whatever way he wants to if he wants to! Hes such a good God!! Also God gave me the story of David. David came to feed his brothers while they were afraid of Goliath and his older brother Eliab was filled with anger and accused him of having a wicked heart, and being conceded. The ironic thing is that Eliab was "rejected" by God because of HIS heart. In fact he's the only brother that the Bible says was rejected....hmmmm makes you wonder. God told Samuel that Man looks at the outer appearance but I look at the heart and then anointed David! So God showed me to pay attention to the areas that the enemy sends people to attack because we know that God loved Davids heart, and so usually if your being accused many times that is the same area that God loves, or wants to bless you in. Also dont get so distracted by the little battle (Davids brothers) that you miss the bigger battle that is bringing the real victory!!!