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Character Assassination

Briefing: I had a supervisor who used to make fun of me because of my faith. He would openly mock me in front of other officers and supervisors. It hurt but at the same time, I knew it was coming because God’s Word had warned me.

Dispatch (Assignment): Read Psalm 109.

On the Street: Character Assassination is such a good term for what David is dealing with in this psalm. Wikipedia defines character assassination as a deliberate and sustained process that destroys the credibility and reputation of a person, institution, organization, social group, or nation. Agents of character assassinations employ a mix of open and covert methods to achieve their goals, such as raising false accusations, planting and fostering rumors, and manipulating information. This definition sums up the following complaints in this psalm that David has taken to the LORD.

In this devotional, we will go through the psalm and point out, from the proverbs, what the Bible has to say about people who participate in character assassination. We need to know how God looks at this kind of evil so we know if we are falling into this trap. We also need how to deal with it if we become the subject of this kind of attack.

In verse 2 we read that wicked and deceitful people are lying about David. Then in verse 3, David says they use words of hatred. Proverbs 26:28, “A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin.” When you live a life that points to Christ, you will be attacked. Satan will use anyone he can to assassinate your character in an attempt to keep you from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 5:11 Jesus warns us, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”

Verses 4 and 5 are sad. Unfortunately, it is a miserable truth about sinful man. We are hurt worse by those who are closest to us. “In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship.” David makes a point of saying he will not sink to their level, he is a man of prayer. He turns to God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”.

When reading verse 8 we see that David is talking about people who are in positions of leadership. I always assume that people in leadership positions have proven they have the character and qualities of a good leader, otherwise they would not be leaders. This is not always the case. The person in the leadership position should be leading by example and doing things better than those around him/her. This is a disappointing statement.

Dropping down to verse 17 we see David praying the law of the harvest. Normally we see this prayer from the positive side, when I plant good and peace, let me harvest good and peace. David has turned the tables and asks that the people lying and attempting to destroy him, harvest the same actions on themselves. This is a good word for all of us. What are we planting with our words? Are we planting positive, encouraging, and truthful words or are we planting negative, gossip and lies? What we plant we will harvest. Proverbs 18:21, “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” Matthew 12:36-37, “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

We read in verse 22 that David’s heart has been wounded. I think we can all sympathize with this. At some point in life, we all experience a broken heart. Like verses 4-5 we see David has been hurt by someone close to him. Proverbs 16:28, “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.”

Finally, in verses 30-31 we see the kind of response we have come to expect from David, “With my mouth I will greatly extol the Lord; in the great throng of worshipers I will praise Him. For He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save their lives from those who would condemn them.”

As peace officers, I believe this is part of our calling. If you see this kind of behavior in your workplace and you don’t do anything about it, then realize you are part of the problem. We know all about guilt by association. We understand that negligence is knowing about something, yet not doing anything to prevent it. We cannot afford to sit back and let this kind of behavior go unchecked. After all, what does it mean to be a PEACE officer?

Investigational Resources: Proverbs 15:1, 13:3, 21:23, 24:20, 6:12-15, 6:18, and 11:9.

Officer Safety Principle: I read a poster that said, “If you spend time praying for people instead of talking about them, you’ll get better results” Author Unknown.

from Psalms Through the Eyes of a Cop, Volume 2
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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