The Chinese Christian, Watchman Nee, died in a Communist prison for his faith. During his lifetime, he was roundly criticized by the government. Smear campaigns were employed to discredit him, but he never responded to critics and never defended himself. Asked about it, he said, "Brothers, if people trust us there is no need to explain; and if they don't trust us, there is no use in explaining."
The apostle Paul said about his critics: "It matters very little to me what you think of me, even less where I rank in popular opinion. I don't even rank myself...The Master makes that judgment" (I Corinthians 4:3-4 The Message).

David Jeremiah asks, "How do we respond to unfair criticism and unkind words? Our natural reaction is to feel indignant and defensive, to try to straighten everyone out. But we need thick skin, soft hearts, and an absolute trust in the Lord to give us favor in the sight of God and man as He chooses. There may be times to defend ourselves or offer an explanation, but we must guard against taking criticism too seriously. We're responsible for our character, but we can leave our reputation in His hands."

 - from Turning Point Daily Devotional, 7/17/03