“Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked, From the rebellion of the workers of iniquity, Who sharpen their tongue like a sword, And bend their bows to shoot their arrows—bitter words.” (NKJV)
You arrive at work 15 minutes before 9 am and make your rounds (kitchen for coffee, mail room for correspondence, and so on). You greet a couple of coworkers and get the brush-off. You have a voicemail from a manager asking you to redo a project that was approved two days ago. As the day progresses, you notice people who are normally friendly and open to your ideas are now standoffish and critical of every move you make. As far as you know, you haven’t done anything to offend anyone and there haven’t been any incidents to warrant their change of heart. What could be the cause?
What do you do when you suspect you are the victim of gossip? How do you handle backbiting? Don’t retaliate. Understand that people who slander (make false statements to destroy someone’s reputation), do so for one reason: Fear. They’re afraid someone is going to cause them loss–loss of status, loss of control, loss of relationship or loss of money.
The target of their tongue is usually someone who makes them feel threatened. The scapegoat is often a new person in the environment (neighborhood, work, church, school, etc.) who changes the environment. The attacker’s words are produced by fearful thoughts, which are really lies from the enemy designed to make them feel inferior…
- The lie: Now that Susan is here, I am not the “go to” person anymore. The manager always asks Susan to do everything. The Truth: Now you have help. Strong teams outperform talented individuals because there is strength in numbers.
- The lie: Robert and I used to be best friends. Ever since John moved in, Robert hangs out with him. The Truth: Solid friendships are not based on possession or dependency. Use your new free time to develop yourself and make new friends. Reach out to John– you could become his friend too.
- The lie: Mr. Williams opened a business just like mine right across the street. Now I see my customers in his store. He’s stealing my customers. The Truth: Competition doesn’t have to kill your business. Promote your strengths and learn from your competition. Revise your strategy or add new products/services to adjust to the new environment.
This is not the time for you to let your accuser’s weakness offend you. Help your attacker see the truth and defend yourself with the Word of God: