If a damaging rumor about a believer proves to be false, should the person be cleared publicly?

If a damaging rumor about a believer proves to be false, should the person be cleared publicly?

If the inaccurate rumors were dealt with publicly (for example, by a public rebuke, 1 Timothy 5:20), they should be cleared publicly. Otherwise, as is more usually the case, those who become aware that what they have heard or repeated is false should be as diligent to correct and contain the damage as they were to further it. They would do the right thing if they apologized to the individual, too. As far as the wronged believer is concerned, he may kindly request the believers who have told others these inaccuracies to repair the damage to the assembly's testimony by correcting their mistakes. Beyond that, the wronged believer should leave it to the Lord to vindicate his name (Proverbs 20:22). It's a safe "rule of thumb," that when a believer can trust the Lord to clear his name he is in the right; when he insists that others clear his name, he casts suspicion on his cause.

D. Oliver