Perhaps in one of those online forums where people can log in anonymously and say anything…even if it’s a lie? It’s been a long while since that has happened to me…high school maybe…that is until we got serious about God’s calling and started a church. My heart has been broken in a million new and different ways since then. Some are painfully beautiful…works of God’s own hand, meant to grow my heart and make me more like Him. Such as when he used a broken woman’s life to bring me to tears, and show me why the job He has called us to is so important. That’s a beautiful kind of break, but it’s the other kind of heartache I’ve been learning to handle with grace, gentleness, and reverence. Like when you find discouragement and negativity where you had expected only excitement and encouragement? Ouch! Those strike like guided missiles fired from behind enemy lines. You never see it coming, and suddenly you go from walking on air to eating dirt. Some people find it easier to let these things go, but I’m a bit of a fighter by nature, verbally that is, and I don’t relent until I have bent you to my own way of thinking…using gentle, persuasive, and reverent brute force, that is. My sister used to lovingly call me a mental terrorist. Lovingly. I have gotten better though, more tactful in my older years, and she has now promoted me to mental ninja. That has such a better ring to it, doesn’t it? But in the past few months, I’ve learned to lay down my verbal nunchuks, take a deep breath, and remember the beautiful humility of Jesus during His last days on Earth. When people slung insults and hurled stones, He prayed for them, He loved them, and no one could ever doubt that love by His words or actions.
How much I want to be like Him.
I’m new at this pastor’s wife gig. The amount of joy it has brought is overwhelming, but the doors it has opened for criticism and negativity threaten to steal that joy often if I can’t learn to wield the power in I Peter 3:13-17.
“And who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; 16 and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong.”
This is my current struggle. This is where the rubber is hitting the road these days. Do not fight fire with fire, but face the naysayers with acts of kindness done for His glory, and by trying to live a life that offers no one any ammunition to use against us. Quite a clever anti-ballistic strategy if you ask me.
…and I hear it takes one to know one, my dear sister. ;)