What to Do When Someone Lies About You
Has someone been lying about you to other people? Or, just as bad, have they been lying about you TO you? If so, I want to talk to you today about what to do when someone lies about you.
First, let me say that you’re not alone.
I am writing this article based on the Word of God which I have lived out in personal experience. There are probably a lot of other people who can say they’ve been through the same thing too. We shouldn’t expect to never experience attacks of the enemy like this.
After all, Jesus said:
“So Jesus answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time—houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions—and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first” (Mark 10:29-31 NKJV, emphasis mine).
Persecution is to be expected.
Jesus even said that we should expect persecution from the religious people. John 16:1-4 says:
“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.”
However, we can be immune to the persecution–in other words, persecution may swirl around us but it can’t hurt us–if we meet the conditions God laid out in Psalm 91:
- If we dwell in the secret place of the Most High;
- If we abide under the shadow of the Almighty;
- If we SAY (verbally, out loud) of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust”;
- If we set our love upon the Lord; and
- If we call upon Him.
When we meet the conditions laid out in Psalm 91, persecution and enemy attacks may swirl around us, but they can’t hurt us. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand–but it cannot come near you. Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked.
What does this have to do with what to do when someone lies about you?
Well, when you’re a child of God and someone lies about you, it’s just part of the persecution that Jesus predicted would happen. But, it can’t hurt you. It may disappoint you; you may feel sorrow or even anger. You will certainly have to forgive. But ultimately, the lies people tell about you will only work out for your good, according to Romans 8:28:
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”
So even though it may sting, and you may be tempted to become sad, down, or upset about it when someone lies about you, you ultimately are actually going to be blessed because of the lies.
That’s a different perspective, isn’t it?
When someone lies about you, it’s only going to bless you. It’s going to work out for your good. Yeah, it can be challenging to get through. It can be hard to handle, and challenging to navigate through the situation. But ultimately, the people who are lying about you are only giving Papa God fodder to bless you with. So, hallelujah! Thank You Jesus for working these things out for our good!
But how do you handle things practically when someone lies about you?
Let’s look at several important keys.
1. Forgive them, immediately and completely.
It doesn’t matter how grievously someone sins against you; God still requires you to forgive. He requires all of us to forgive. In fact, Jesus actually told us that God will not forgive OUR sins if we don’t forgive from our heart the people who hurt us.
Matthew 6:14-15 says:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
“Forgiveness” doesn’t just mean saying, “I forgive you/them,” either. There is a process for forgiveness, and a specific way you need to pray in order to make forgiveness stick.
To learn more about the correct process for forgiveness that the Bible teaches, get my Finding Deep Soul Healing 101 recorded webinar here. And if you need a sample prayer for forgiveness, I do have a sample prayer here in my blog post about Removing Shame, Restoring Honor.
2. Examine your own life. Repent for anything you need to repent for.
Is there any truth to what they are saying? Typically, when someone lies about you, they’re saying bad things. Few people go around gossiping and telling lies to BLESS somebody. And when people are saying bad things, the first thing we need to do is to let the Lord show us if there is any smidgen of truth in what they’re saying.
3. Make things right with God and people.
If any part of what they are saying is true–and if that true part is a bad thing–then clean it up:
- If you did something sinful, you need to repent and get right with God.
- If you did something sinful and someone got hurt, you need to make things right with that person as well.
- When you make things right with God, actually change. “Repenting” means to change your mind, turn around, and go the other direction. Repentance requires change.
- And when you make things right with people, apologize and ask forgiveness. Admit you were wrong. DO NOT SAY, “I’m sorry IF ….”
Saying “I’m sorry IF I did that” or “I’m sorry IF I hurt you” is no apology at all. You DID do that and you DID hurt them; otherwise you wouldn’t be repenting. Take responsibility and get the word “IF” OUT of your apology. Just admit that you did it, repent, and ask forgiveness.
4. But if there is no truth in what they are saying, and if you have nothing to apologize for …
Then the biggest key is this:
With love …
And with humility …
And with kindness …
You need to refuse to agree with the lie.
Jesus refused to agree with lies, and He doesn’t expect you to agree with lies either.
In John chapter 8, Jesus had a running dialogue with the Pharisees. The Pharisees were lying about Jesus TO Jesus. They were telling Jesus who they thought He was (e.g. demonized and from the devil), and they were trying to get Him to agree with them.
But you know what JESUS said in response to their lies? This:
“Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?’
Jesus answered, ‘If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word” (John 8:52-55).
Here’s the thing:
We usually think that lying about who we are involves making ourselves out to be bigger than we really are. In other words, we think of:
- Athletes who say they could run a 5-minute mile, when they really couldn’t;
- Fishermen who say they caught that 20-pound fish, when it really only weighed 8 pounds;
- Golfers who say they shot a par 72 course, when really they shot a 120 game that day.
But you know what? It works the other way too.
Making yourself look WORSE than you really are is lying too.
- Saying you’re a terrible cook when actually you’re a great cook is LYING.
- Saying that you don’t make much money when actually you’re very blessed is lying.
- Saying that you’re not smart when actually you’re very smart is lying.
And saying that you’re NOT who you ACTUALLY ARE is lying:
- For Jesus to say that He wasn’t one with the Father, when actually He IS one with the Father, would have been lying.
- For Jesus to say that He didn’t know Himself, when actually He DID know Himself, would have been lying.
- For Jesus to agree with ANY of the lies the Pharisees told about Him would have been lying.
That’s why Jesus said, basically: “If I agree with you, then I would be a liar like you.”
Jesus refused to lie, for lying is sin. That includes the fact that Jesus would not back down or diminish Himself, just because the Pharisees wanted Him to. He refused to agree with their lies about Him. He refused to agree with their accusations, because their accusations were not true.
You know what that means? If someone accuses you of something that isn’t true, and you back down and agree with it, you have just made yourself a liar.
If someone tells you that you ARE something you’re actually not, and you agree with it, you become a liar with them.
And if you diminish the work of Holy Spirit in your life by denying His skill, talent, wisdom, discernment, or FRUIT in you, you not only become a liar but you also insult the Lord and His Holy Spirit.
So when people tell you things about yourself that aren’t true …
When someone lies about you …
Whether someone lies about you to someone else or to your very face …
DON’T AGREE WITH IT.
REFUSE THE LIES.
Don’t insult the Spirit of God who made you, lives in you, and bears witness to who you are through the FRUIT and promotion He has given you.
Of course, everything you do has to be done in love. So be loving and humble as you stand up for the truth of God and work of God in you.
Don’t be proud, arrogant, or boastful. But DO be factual, even about the good things. Don’t you dare become a liar yourself by agreeing with the lies that people are telling about you …
… No matter where those lies come from:
- The lies are still lies, even if they come from your spouse.
- The lies are still lies, even if they come from your family.
- Lies are still lies, even if they come from someone you thought was one of your best friends.
- Lies are still lies, even if they come from your pastor.
Lies are still lies, no matter where they come from.
Jesus Christ Himself is the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life … and He does not expect or want you to align yourself with anything other than HIM and His Word. He does not want you to yield or capitulate even for one second with anything that does not align with His Word. He wants you to abide in truth, for HE is Truth Incarnate.
In my next blog post in this series, I’m going to list 10 lies that Pharisees will tell you. They are the 10 lies that the Pharisees used to mess with Jesus; to try to get in His mind and derail both His ministry and His life. I think you’ll be fascinated by Jesus’ response to all 10 lies.
In the meantime, please let me know:
Does this message about what to do when someone lies about you resonate with you? Does it help you handle what you’re going through? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Thank you, Jamie. I recently found out a coworker is speaking lies about me. It was and still is very hurtful. I’ve been in a deep depression the past few weeks and have had a hard time praying about it. I know the truth, and I know God knows the truth, and that is what I’ve been holding onto but it still hurts deeply, especially the unkind treatment I am receiving from others due to her gossip and lies. But God! He always gives us exactly what we need, when we need it. I am very grateful for this blog post, the timing is perfect and gives me much needed hope. Thank you and God bless you.
Thank you for your comment I’m also dealing with an ex co worker lying on my character it hard but God will restore our good name.
Im so thankful to have read this tonight . I have also been so upset & terribly hurt about lies a coworker has told to my boss also other colleagues. I have been in disbelief that my boss believed most of these lies & now I have been demoted even after I explained that these things were not true. My boss has changed my position now & I will lose my medical insurance by the end of the month. I’m devastated & have been trying to get past this with prayer. I decided that I will resign once another position comes up for me , however the same coworker continues to gossip about me knowing the issues she’s brought to me and shows no care in the world. All she wanted was to push me out the door to have control in more of a management position,but there was no need to lie about my work or about anyone. I’ve had a very hard time accepting that someone could do this not just to me but to anyone trying to earn a living for their family. I have asked God to help me understand/accept/forgive her because she maybe does not know him & maybe doesn’t know that he sees all we do . It was difficult for me to get past because I so upset & stressed that no one seemed to listen or believe me. I will trust that it is in Gods hands and allow him to guide me through this.
It can be difficult to have people sizing you down all the time. I appreciate your direction and note of how it will benefit in the long run.
Hello Jamie, it’s amazing that you wrote about this subject today. I just had an occurrence with a woman I just met since moving to SC in June. I met her in church a couple of weeks ago, and I found out she told a couple of lies about me to the lady who holds a prayer group in her home on Sunday’s after our church service. I sent an email to her and told her that it was a lie, and she advised me to talk to the woman myself. I did, and at the end of it all, I told her “I forgive you,” but I’m closing the door on our friendship.
She never admitted to it, but the Lord showed me very specifically, and I wished her abundant blessings in her life and just closed that door. I just gave the situation and her over to God, and I have moved on. I forgive easily, especially since I learned years ago, that this a ploy of the devil to cause offense in the church, and He uses it as an open door to have legal rights to torment us.
Great! Great! word of wisdom. It helped me A LOT.
Thank you for that. I never thought of offense in that way. I appreciate the wisdom sister ❤ God bless you
I was recently lied and spoken about by 3 close friends in the Lord who I became very close too. I found out that they were speaking behind my back even though I was feeding them the Word of God forthrightly and ‘giving’ to them whenever I could. I am still very hurt, I ask myself at times how could anyone do that to someone who has been 💯 % faithful to them for over 20 years? You articulately explained it Jamie, the enemy got into their mouth and ears convincing then with complete lies .. thank you for encouraging me, I feel you are my best friend in God. I am Truly blessed and inspired by your post. P.s could you please pray for me? Thank you!
Very good dear thank you
But iam not good in a bible, how can i know that my pastor is lied to me?
You start reading your Bible every day and apply what you learn. Every day, without fail. You cannot know God or love Him unless you hide His Word in your heart and obey it.
This is something I have been struggling with. Someone I was once very close to has been lying on making and making me to to be someone I am not.What is worse is that this person went in front of people at their church with this host of lies. It hurts really bad that this person would go to great lengths to ruin my reputation and try and turn people against me. I just hate that people are judging me based upon lies that someone has told about me and has also broken up relationships with other people we are close with to cause them to turn against me. If anyone to ask me about this I know that they wouldn’t believe me, but I would tell them if they really wanted to know the truth, pray and ask God. He will provide the absolute truth…not my side or the other persons side.
Thank you Jamie! It seems like I have a target on my back for these toxic relationships but I really feel like I’ve grown through the process now. The latest one was my Pastor that lied about me to me and then perpetuated the lie by telling other people… and then more from the pulpit… but I’m not alone and he’s done it many times before with a lot of other people. Every time I have felt anger well back up I give it the ‘one, two punch’ and forgive again and say a prayer for him. As usual your message is spot-on sister!
Good day Jamie!
I thank our loving Heavenly Father for the platform He has given you!
On Sunday afternoon l awoke from a dream, where the enemy was trying to stop my progress. But thanks be to God l overcame the enemy and ran away from his lies. As soon as l awoke, l was going for some scriptures to pray against the lies, when suddenly your email arrived at the same time.
I was so encouraged, by your words, ‘But ultimately, the people who are lying about you are only giving Papa God fodder to bless you with!
God bless your for the timely word!
I cannot thank you enough for this post Jamie!
I’ve been at the receiving end of lies on both ends. I had to lay low and not be myself completely in order to make those who were jealous of me and the talents God has given me so they could feel comfortable around me. It was very painful because all through childhood I really needed to feel I belong and the price I had to pay was not be myself fully because of how they felt about me. I couldn’t even bring myself to acknowledge who I really am to even myself for years! I always felt the need to be humble. I need to work on this in depth so that I can be myself wholly, fulfill the purpose the Lord created me for and bring Him all the glory He can receive through me and my life.
I repent for all the lies I agreed to and believed about myself. I pray the Lord will give me a fresh understanding of who I am the way He created me and help me find total fulfillment.
Thank You LORD GOD for revealing this to me through this message!
Glory to Your holy name!
This is the awesome TRUTH~ I had this experience this week, confirmation for me.
Thank you Lord…..and thank you Jamie~
So Jamie, you are saying I have committed u forgivable sin for believing lies? Please elaborate. I feel hopeless after reading this. I have struggled my entire life only now to read I may have committed unforgivable sin on top of being reject and complete failure my entire life.
I do not believe that you have done that at all or you would know it if you did. God understands so much more about us that we even do. Once we know what we’ve done from then on just ask for forgiveness and don’t do it again. I hope this helps you❤😊
I was really hurting today when I was told by a third-party that a co-worker lied about me.
I hurt a lot especially since I did the exact opposite!! Thanks be to the Lord that I had been reading the word of God constantly.. While my heart hurt, there was a spirit of peace and a knowing to just go to my closet and vent, cry and lay it all to God. I knew this was not a time to go to any man. I needed to just go to God. I prayed for the individual and told God to bless them.
I have learnt from my past that this is one of the ways the enemy attacks and want to take control and/or delay blessings our way. I am the child of God and I dwell under his shelter (Psalm 91). If I remain humble and keep my focus upwards on HIM, andCHOOSE to show this person LOVE, I know God will fight this battle and turn this into something that will glorify Him or better yet, it will help me show the love of Christ to this individual.
Futhermore, I have learnt this is also one of the ways God can examine and/or test our heart and our spiritual maturity in order to expand our territory.
JAMIE.. I amso glad I found your post. It truly encouraged me.
I choose to sing tonight and not waste energy worrying about this.
Thank you for your words of wisdom and your kind hearted understanding. As you see you touched many with this blog. The enemy is working thru many but, there are many more working for God. We all can learn to love instead of hate, forgive instead of revenge, this way we Do BECOME STRONGER against the enemy. When we pray for the people who hurt us we are praying for peace. Let’s keep praying for peace!
My ex husband repeatly blamed me for his relationship with our boys. The boys are men now. 40&36. He claims that I have turned them against him. And that the youngest isn’t his. I have not turned them against him. To do that would have only hurt them and myself. And our youngest is definitely his. He asked for a divorce when the youngest was 3 weeks old
He remarried 2 days after our divorce. It makes me very sad that he has no relationship with his boys and I have tried to get them to talk to him. They refuse to. I continue to pray that my ex will find peace. He divorced his second wife after 35 years of marriage and told me he thought he could love me again. I am happily married and told him that. That only made him step up his resolve that I am the cause of his lack of a relationship with the boys. Please keep us in your prayers.
Thank you so much for this, Jamie. I feel shattered and heartbroken over a lie that was just told about me. I need Jesus more than ever. I pray the truth will be revealed and justice will prevail. I also pray for the perpetrator because I sense fear and anxiety is the root of this lie. I really hope love will prevail as the truth is revealed.