"Everybody is slandered even the good." - Robert E. Lee
1 Peter 3:14-16
14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ. KJV
General Lee may be the only man who was respected by friend and foe alike to have his honor defended by both. It is doubtful that much was ever said against him that was believed and the speaker of it was not soundly rebuked for saying it. Even after war there were those would have elected him President. There has never been a man since Washington of higher character or abilities elected to that office.
There was one instance when someone asked him what he thought of a man that had highly criticized him. He gave a gracious response praising the man's qualities. Lee was then asked how he could give such a glowing report for a man who had spoken so harshly. Lee replied that he had been asked what he thought of that man, not what that man thought of him! That takes grace, meekness and humility to say that!
The greatest quality of Lee was that he was a devoted Christian and it is what made the valiant warrior, grand orator, brilliant statesman and educator. He walked the talk so that no matter what others said of him he could endure it with grace because he had a good conscience and knew all they said was false and meant for evil.
As we seek to follow in the footsteps of our Lord and be an apologist for Christian values, we must not only talk the talk, but we must walk the walk that Lee so clearly models for us. Indeed, Christ endured false accusation and suffered unjustly and we should be prepared to do the same.
Sanctify or set apart the Lord in your heart as the holy Sovereign that He is allowing truth to reign in your life both in speech and deed. Know how to share that truth with others even the ones who despise, accuse and even abuse you. Speak the truth in love leaving rancor and bitterness behind lest you mar and obscure the truth by acting like those who hate you.
In your apologetics for your Christian faith you must be gracious and not brawlers so that they can only accuse you falsely. Let our virtue illuminate the truth and when we walk the walk we can let evil talk and rejoice even when reviled. Maranatha!!