Clear my name, God; I’ve kept an honest shop. I’ve thrown in my lot with you, God, and I’m not budging. Psalm 26:1 (TM)
I’ve learned with time that I can’t control what others say about me. There’s no way to stop the whispering of others. No matter how well you live, no matter how "honest you try to keep your shop", there will be talk. We live in a fallen world with fallible human-beings. It’s frustrating and feels unjust when the rumors about you reach your ears. But, you can’t stop it. You can’t change it any more than you can change a leopard’s spots. It comes with the territory called life. David learned it, too.
I recently read a great blog post which said,
How do we respond if someone attacks our character? Should we be defensive? The temptation certainly is to be. But how did Jesus react when it happened to him? “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.” (1 Peter 2:23)
When someone says something to attack us, the natural and immediate response is to try and defend ourselves, but sometimes this leads only to further conflict.
So, how do you respond? You stay on the road. You keep walking. You love and bless others – even those who curse you. You renew your desire and commitment to be "aboveboard" and appeal to the only true Judge.
Ultimately, his verdict is the only one that truly matters.