Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Matthew 5: 11, 12 NIV
June 6, 2011
“You self-righteous Christian twit.” That is a direct quote from one of my fan mails. That was not all that was written but I can’t and shouldn’t repeat those words. I will just tell you that I read that, and it stopped me in my tracks. The first thing I did was look again to see who the writer was and if I knew them. I don’t. Then I scanned my readers and nope, not there either. How did this person find me and message me? I wrote on someone’s page and they followed me to my page on Facebook. I guess my page, which is Hischild 214 ministry, is now open to comments from those who will not support me. That is how vulnerable we are when we create a page, and I just have to sum that up as a learning tool.
The second thing I did was go to God in prayer. I asked Him to reveal to me anything I said or did to offend this person. I reviewed my comment and I looked at my status update. Nothing! This is just one person who thought I needed to hear her opinion on how stupid and worthless I am. Now I know, and with that knowledge I blocked her from contacting me again and sent her message to the powers of Facebook to deal with her accordingly.
The day after I received this I was in class in Seminary and shared this letter. Another student there told me he received an ugly letter himself. It was not the same person, and his writer used words much more offensive. We both said the same thing regarding our experiences. When you get a hate mail it makes you really wonder if you are doing something wrong and it does jab you in the heart. For a few minutes you search yourself and confess to God to search you and dig out any sin. Then you just wonder why someone who does not know you would judge you that way. You get defensive and the first thing you want to do is write them back and tell them they are wrong. Common sense worked in us both and we didn’t follow our initial instinct.
Instead, we both turned it over to God and reminded ourselves of today’s verse. Jesus is preaching the Beatitudes and He says to us that we are blessed when people insult us for being His. Blessed is how He sees us, not necessarily how we feel. It is how we should feel. We should know that as His children people will look at us with hate. They hated Him, they will hate us. That is just the fact of being one of His and we know this, so why does it stop us in our tracks when it happens? The reason it does is because we are human. We get hurt by words and take offense when someone is hateful toward us. We want to be treated kindly and with love, especially when we are sharing God’s love.
Well, that is just not going to happen. Especially after men like Camping come around and deceive so many people into believing the rapture is about to happen. He raked in millions of dollars and he is being sued. Again, I think he needs to spend a long time in jail. Tell him he can get out when God raptures him. That will fix him. The damage he did is astronomical –spiritually, financially and emotionally. I think all of us who profess to be Christians should be on “high alert.” I think a whole lot more persecution is going to happen because of Camping and his false predictions.
I also think that since that is going to happen, then we have to learn how to deal with persecution. It was not my first nor my second reaction but my third: I thanked God. I am so glad that I stand out for God; that is what I pray to do. Now should I get another hate mail, I think it is always wise for me to ask God if I am in the wrong. Human I can sin just like the rest of you. If God says no then I will thank Him for working through me and rejoice that I bugged Satan and his workers.
Don’t be afraid to share your faith and get out there now more than ever and let the world know what the truth is. We sure do leave ourselves open for rejection and hatred. It may not feel good but Jesus calls us blessed, and I really love the name Jesus calls me. What about you?