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The best way to weaken the influence of an attacking troublemaker is almost always by indirect action rather than a loud “Shut up!”

You see, the troublemaker likely won’t shut up and might spew even more poison about you.

You’ve seen this happen at the job or at the school or among extended family or perhaps even at church.

What’s so much better to do is to display personal integrity, kindness and Christlike character in order to reveal the truth to others that the poison words are bogus.

Fortunately, most of us don’t have to deal with this very often.

But when we do, it’s vital that we get it right.

Just like the Apostle Paul did in 2 Corinthians 11:7-15. If you’ll click this link and read the passage from today’s section in the One-Year Bible, you’ll see that enemies of the Gospel and Paul were trying to destroy his influence.

Paul didn’t respond with poison. Instead, he responded by pointing to his efforts to live with humility and integrity.

Paul wanted to leave his enemies firing blanks so that their attacks only made noise but scored no hits.

For Paul to say in verse 9, “I have never been a burden to you and I never will be,” not only confirmed his commitment to the believers at Corinth but it also displayed his pastor’s heart that he never wanted the sheep to suffer because he was a mooching minister.

It had to have pained Paul’s heart to know that lies were being told about him just so his protective influence would be lessened.

But this wasn’t about defending one’s ego. This was about affirming his love and personal integrity in order to continue shepherding the flock. This was about equipping the sheep to know the truth in order to alert them to falsehood coming from opponents of truth.

Regardless of the setting wherein you might be facing attacks on your character, please focus first of having the personal character that honors and imitates the Lord and then focus on humbly communicating that reminder to those who might be hearing lies and attacks upon you.

It’s not about shouting down the masquerading angels, the wolves in sheep’s clothing, but instead about equipping and protecting the ones listening.

It’s about being known as a blessing in people’s lives, not a burden.

As always, I love you

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