5 I do not think I am in the least inferior to those “super-apostles.” 6 I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. 7 Was it a sin for me to lower myself in order to elevate you by preaching the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so as to serve you. 9 And when I was with you and needed something, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia supplied what I needed. I have kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so. 10 As surely as the truth of Christ is in me, nobody in the regions of Achaia will stop this boasting of mine. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! 2 Corinthians 11:5-11
Paul went to great lengths to show and prove his love for the Corinthian church. He seemed to be battling rumors and inuendo about his manner of speech and knowledge. Even though he was getting knocked around, he got up again and faced another day. And he seemed to be positive about it.
What about us? Each of us processes critics and slanderers differently. Some of us close up and wish to never come out of our shells again. Some of us come out fighting. What’s your response? What should our response be?
There’s a couple things to keep in mind. First, we are not wrestling against that person or that group of people. We are in a spiritual battle (Ephesians 5) and it’s not going to get easier.
Secondly, we cannot control what others say about us. We can only control what we say and think – and how we react to what others say.
Sometimes we should remain silent in the face of unfair criticism. Obviously each situation is different, and only the Holy Spirit can tell us what to say or not to say.