It is late late late, and I was in the process of finishing DW's blog for tomorrow morning. Before posting, I took the time to check in on DW's social networking page and at the top of the page was a new comment from a women using foul language and hateful sentiments directed toward our ministry... Sigh.
As one of DW's administrators, I quickly removed the comment from our Facebook Wall and took time aside to send her a private email to inform her why her post did not meet our prayer network's objective: to encourage and pray for one another to walk daily in fellowship with Jesus Christ. I took great care to be as respectful as possible and even offered to speak with her directly about the matter, if she felt it necessary. Before sending the note, my husband and I reviewed her profile and anticipated that her response (if any) would most likely be venomous due to how she openly represented herself (atheist, illicit behavior, etc.). But as we have done with many others who have posted profanities on The Devoted Woman's pages, I took some time to extend the courtesy of explaining why we would be removing her comment and did my best to address her with the respect I would wish to be treated.
Shortly after my note was sent, I received a one sentence reply attacking me personally. And that was that.
Although this is not an unusual occurrence, here I sit, saddened by what just took place and writing a completely new blog as a result. I bring this to your attention to share the words of our wise Savior in how we are to respond in such situations.
Read Christ's own words in Luke 6:27. Jesus instructs us: (1) love your enemies, (2) do good to those who hate you, (3) bless those who curse you and (4) pray for those who mistreat you. And that is exactly what I intend to do for this woman...
In love, I lift up this woman to You knowing that You are able to save anyone. Please soften her heart and bring her to know You personally. Show her Your unending love and bring her to understand how valuable she is in Your eyes. Give her the ultimate blessing of knowing and accepting Your son, Jesus, and the honor of becoming one of Your children. Forgive her hate-filled words spoken against You, Lord... for I am certain if she really knew who You were, she would never have spoken them.
I pray that You use this experience to remind all DW's (including myself... especially myself) to turn the other cheek to those who persecute us. I pray that in our walk against the enemy, we do not forget or lose sight of the fact that those who follow Satan are lost and in need of a Savior. Help us to love them as You loved us and avoid becoming judgemental or complacent. Remind us that we are no better except in that we have You, dear Jesus!
Thank You for every opportunity You give us to grow closer to Christ. We thank You for all experiences and all moments and ask only that you use our lives to reflect Your image in our words and actions. Do not let the world's opinions and hatred toward You influence our commitment and devotion to serving and following our gracious Master.
Praise Your Holy Holy Holy Name, Precious Jesus. We love You and trust You - always!
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:27-38)