our testimony to persecution
Open Your Bible
1 Peter 3:8-12, James 3:9, John 16:33
BY Diana Stone
Text: 1 Peter 3:8-12, James 3:9, John 16:33
As you read this, you’re on some sort of device connecting you to thousands of other people. iPad, phone, computer; whatever it is, you’ve likely used it for more than simply reading. Millions of us talk, to share, and to pour out our feelings online.
Some use this to hurt.
Often referred to online as “trolls”, these are people who leave vicious, brutal comments on other’s writings and postings. Sometimes we have no idea who they are. Sometimes we do. In either case, it causes most of us to immediately put up our defenses. We don’t like to be accused, maligned, or misunderstood. We want it corrected – NOW.
It’s the next step though, that shows us and others watching how mature we are in Christ. On a scale of 1-10 in Christian maturity (Jesus being an 11) I’m probably a 1.5. I have a very, very hard time keeping my fingers from typing every angry, sarcastic, vengeful thought that crosses my mind as I read words directed at me.
“With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness.” (James 3:9, NIV)
Peter writes, “Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing.”
This theme of grace is repeated in the Bible in so many ways. Turning the other cheek. Love your neighbor. Yet, it’s so hard to obey, because it brings up quick emotion and reaction.
Instead of instant rage – we should turn to instant prayer. Who better understands betrayal, hurt, angry words, and vile acts upon Him that did no wrong – ever – than Jesus? He has been there.
Sisters, as we interact with each other online and in person, remember we represent Christianity not only in lovely writing and words, but in our reactions to how others respond. Christ never promised that you wouldn’t receive backlash from others. He commands us to do the opposite.
Pour it out to the Lord.
Tell Him how much it hurts.
Then wait for a response.
Above all, remember; if Christ Himself couldn’t escape persecution on earth, who are we to think we should?
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, ESV)