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
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,