An offensive spirit is defensive; a defensive spirit is offensive. An offensive or defensive spirit is proud and destructive; it destroys relationships. Humility does not offend or defend himself. He will not defend himself when slandered or falsely accused. He will let God vindicate him because he believes that God is his defense and refuge (Psalm 62:7). He will let God be the Spirit of justice in his situation as he sits in judgment, and his source of strength that turns the battle at the gate (Isaiah 28:6). He knows that his struggle is not against people who are proud, critical, slanderous, or rebellious (Eph. 6:12). His battle is in the heavenlies where his mind and his heart struggle against self pity, anger, resentment, bitterness and revenge. Self pity is a diabolic spell cast by the devil to trigger the building up of defensive or offensive attitude into an oppressed person. This is destructive to self and others. Self pity is the door to resentment, anger and bitterness. These spirits will draw other spirits that are more wicked and more destructive accomplishing the purposes of the devil. Your powerful shield against self-pity is humility. It does not give room for the spirit of self pity and other spirits to reside in your soul.
humility vs. slander
As a leader, I have learned to apply humility when slandered, backbitten, or openly opposed. Zeny and I were directors of a mission project, and under us were staff who openly opposed me. I quietly listened to their charges with a willing heart to be corrected. That moment, God’s grace came upon me, it felt like anesthesia. No pain, no hurt in my heart but God’s presence filled me with love and comfort. I wept quietly accepting their charges against me and asked for their forgiveness. About a year later, God arranged a get-together fellowship. There they asked for forgiveness for they found out they were wrong. I forgave them and a joyful restoration of trust and friendship took place.
Leaders must be willing to accept false accusations from their followers and ask for forgiveness. Ignoring any accusation, even the false ones, will not lead to reconciliation nor restoration. Leaders must take the initiative to meet with their accuser, backbiter or front biter, in a conducive place and situation. Their heart must have one goal: to ask for forgiveness whether the issue is true of false. If your goal is to prove that you are right, the door to reconciliation might not be opened. Asking for forgiveness means that you are asking your accuser to give up his anger and his true or false accusation on you. it takes humility to do this.
The edge of leadership over those who wrong them is the subtle entry of revenge in the form of discipline or corrective action taken in response to the person at fault. In most cases, leaders who were hurt by backbiters under them chose to take action labeled as discipline but God has set a plumbline to check the balance of their heart. If you can see the leader’s heart with God’s eyes, you can recognize the hidden agenda. You can discern the hurt stirring to impose discipline, covered with biblical arguments which are in fact a punishment in revenge. Some leaders easily fall into his diabolical trap because of the positioned advantage as decisions- makers. A hurting leader is not in a right position to discipline a person in error. He must first receive his healing from God by asking for forgiveness and by releasing forgiveness so that such healing will also be imparted to the person at fault. When healing has taken place, then discipline is the next course of action.