Paul experienced the power of a false accusation which unjustly stained his reputation. Many questioned his integrity, so he was cut off from the community that once loved him.
It’s useless to try to defend your reputation when people have already chosen the path of darkness, believing the worst about you without evidence. This is how a leader identifies with Jesus Christ; he was falsely accused and judged guilty without proof. When it happens to you, rejoice that you have been counted worthy to bear some of the same sufferings of the Savior.
“And why is it that I keep coming across these whiffs of gossip about how my self-support was a front behind which I worked an elaborate scam? Where’s the evidence? Did I cheat or trick you through anyone I sent? I asked Titus to visit, and sent some brothers along. Did they swindle you out of anything? And haven’t we always been just as aboveboard, just as honest?”
2 Corinthians 12:16-18 MSG