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Dealing With Malicious People

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There is a sad reality that exists within the church and that is the presence of malicious people. The fruit of their character is divisive and destructive to those that happen to be the target of their attack. By any Biblical standard, their actions are revealed in scripture as evil and wicked.

All of us as spiritual leaders could share numerous stories that would confirm as well as illustrate this tragic reality. The real question for Christians to answer is, “What do we do when faced with a malicious attack?” I must admit that my first fleshly thought is to counter attack the attacker. I am tempted to take a defensive posture and seek some level of personal revenge. But, thankfully the Holy Spirit reminds me that I do not have that freedom. We do not confront the flesh with the flesh.

We are given very clear instruction about our response in I Peter 3: 16, “…keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” The answer is very simple; we respond in the opposite spirit of the malicious attack. Our behavior should so glorify God that those who would attack us will be made to look foolish because their words will lose credibility when compared to the fruit of our Godly behavior. Christians are challenged to overcome evil with good.

I know the temptation to respond in our own strength is difficult to resist in some situations. But, God will take care of those people who speak and do evil toward His children. Let’s make sure we leave the battle to Him!

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