"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July 31: Best, Not Worst


NOTE TO SELF: I’ve often found it’s not so hard to love my enemy; however, it’s incredibly hard to love a loved one who’s done me wrong. So then…who is the real enemy?

I often create a lot of enemies by being so outspoken and opinionated. And those enemies can be terribly cruel when they don’t want to hear the truth.

For someone who’s so vocal, I don’t have very tough skin, but I’m learning. Over the past few years I’ve been accused of some pretty horrible things, and have had some vicious and malicious things said about me and my family. One particular situation, my faithful readers may remember.

Last year while debating homosexuality, I was trying to explain why I don’t hate gay people and love them the way Christ loves them. Despite my attempts to be loving to this person, he refused to hear me and instead kept calling me names. At one point he said, “I hope your child turns out to be gay so you can hate him in the name of Jesus, too.” My heart was yanked to hell and back at that very moment. I crumbled to pieces.

I didn’t retaliate. Instead, I told him through my hot tears that I deserved an apology, which he refused, and then told him I would be praying for him. And I did. That brought out the best in me, rather than the worst.

On the flip side, with the recent Chick-Fil-A scandal (or so “they” are calling it), my enemy soon became untouchables: the CEO of The Jim Henson Company, the Mayor of Chicago, the Mayor of Boston, and Rosanne Barr (if you missed it, she was quoted as wishing cancer on anyone who eats at Chick-Fil-A). The worst in me wants to punch them in the face, but the best in me decided to just voice my own opinion and beliefs, while raising doubts and questions against those who are trying to rip away our freedoms and rights as Christians. My hope is that, although I agree with Chick-Fil-A and stand behind them in their beliefs, people would respect their opinion as a personal freedom, rather than something to be used against them. I also felt it was a good opportunity to reveal that Christian rights and freedoms are JUST as important as anyone else’s.

God gave me this very strong, bold voice. I could use it like the so-called “99%” and be ignorant and hateful about my opinion, or I could use it to speak God’s Truth and Word in hopes of a real revelation, much like Ezra and Nehemiah. Worst. Best.

In the process of it all, God is calling me to then pray for those who are destroying our freedoms, while also praying for the heart of this nation. Therefore, God is teaching me through my prayers to love my enemies, regardless of how close they are to me, or if they are complete untouchable strangers.

“Live an exemplary life among the natives so that your actions will refute their prejudices” (1 Peter 2:11).

PRAYER: Lord God, we admit that many things make us mad in this day and age, and it’s so hard to control our anger, but we are asking for Your help. Turn our anger into righteous anger that speaks Your truth, and in the process prepares our hearts to bless those who hate us because of it. Give us grace and wisdom in every touchy situation, and use us as You see fit. Amen.

JOURNAL: Who is your enemy? Is it someone close to you, or someone you don’t even know, or both? If both, how do the two compare in how you handle their animosity towards you or your beliefs?

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