Thursday, October 14, 2010


Recently, I lovingly cautioned a sister about a quote which she had posted on FaceBook. Although the quote was from a “Christian leader” and was obtained from a devotional Bible, it absolutely cannot be rightly supported by Scripture. I was genuinely concerned for her and those who might read it! Sadly, she was intensely offended by my caution, and “everybody and their second cousin” on her friends list spewed their poisonness venom in my direction!

I pray that my response to her will be helpful to others, as well:

I understand that you don’t know my heart, nor do your friends and family. I realize that this makes it difficult to hear my tone or understand my intention in a written response. Regardless, that doesn’t justify the vicious retorts which I received. As you have said, you are not responsible for how others respond and I certainly don’t hold you accountable for their reactions. What saddens my heart, though, is that as sisters in Jesus, this was a perfect opportunity to demonstrate His love to a fallen world and it was missed.

I’m frequently in dialogue with brothers and sisters in Jesus via FaceBook and thoughts are often posted for the purpose of others commenting, agreed or not. The purpose in this is to sharpen one another, to hold one another accountable, to cause one another to re-evaluate opinions by returning to Scripture for clarity, etc. My response to your post was done in this light. If you don’t utilize FaceBook for this purpose, I can see how you might have mistaken my response to your post as unloving. I truly meant no harm.

When someone disagrees about something we’ve posted, wouldn’t it be helpful to thank them for pointing out a different perspective and for caring enough to encourage us to reconsider. Shouldn’t we commit to them that we will prayerfully consider their perspective. Responding defensively isn’t necessary. As brothers and sisters our hearts should be open for this kind of sharpening and molding. I know that I don’t have all the answers and that I have lots to learn! Therefore, I hunger for this kind of interaction! I thank God that He has given me spiritual siblings who care enough to be this kind of tool in my life.

If the dialogue about something which I’ve posted becomes disrespectful, I have a responsibility to reflect Jesus in that situation. The love of Jesus can be demonstrated by protesting, “I appeciate your insights, but this is my brother/sister in Jesus whom you are mistreating. I need to hear what they have to say! It’s ok to disagree with them, but if you can’t communicate in love, you must excuse yourself from this conversation!” By intervening in this way, the world sees the unity of Jesus amongst His people. It breaks my heart that it was missed in this situation.

Initially I was shocked by the hurtful responses. I began to second guess my decision to comment on her post. Yet, as I sought the comfort and wisdom of Jesus, He reminded me of several things:

1) When I read her post, I believed that the Holy Spirit prompted me with Colossians 3:16, Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom.
2) ‎Matthew 24:10-12, Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another and because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

When we are dead to Self and only Jesus is alive in us, absolutely nothing will offend us!
Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing will offend them!
Psalm 119:165

As we stand for Truth, we can expect that others will disagree with us! The fact that they disagree shouldn’t be our greatest concern. Instead, our focus must be on responding like Jesus. Following S. Hamm’s suggestion, “If we are gonna demand grace from those we disagree with should we not show it to them as well?" In our own strength, this is impossible! That’s why “Father, Give me an unoffendable heart like Yours” is one of my most common prayers!


No comments:

Post a Comment