Having been a blogger for the last–I don’t even know; five years or so–I think I have seen and heard it all.
I have seen people with good intentions and the purest of hearts put themselves out there for the world to see…
…and get unimaginably hurt.
I’ve seen horrendous accusations fly around cyber space.
And despicable “without pity” blogs started for the sole purpose of spewing hatred and hurting beautiful people.
What pains me the most is that most of it has happened in the “Christian” blogging community.
Many people write to me saying, “I don’t know how you put up with the hateful comments.” Or, “Why do you even bother to publish mean comments?” Truth be told, there are many comments that I do not publish—those that are vicious and downright mean never make it publicly.
Twenty years ago we would never have seen this stuff happening. Not many people would have taken the time to handwrite a letter and snail mail it to the object of their hatred. Though the Internet has been wonderful in so many respects and has certainly made the world a much smaller place, it has also given evil a place to sit behind a computer and have their say—no matter how much it hurts the recipient or how much damage it does to their lives.
People don’t care that they tear down instead of building up.
Over the past couple of years, I have seen this form of harassment and abuse escalate in a community of people who are meant to do and be the opposite.
And so it was no surprise whatsoever that when I shared my recent journey honestly and joyfully about what God had done in my own life that I would get slammed.
I knew it would happen. Publicly and privately, people took it upon themselves to tell me exactly what they felt.
If I post here about my weight loss and the products that my family now uses to transform our health…
…I get called all kinds of names.
If I take an innocent picture of a silly elliptical machine that I finally climbed back onto after many months of not exercising and happily share it on Facebook…
….I’m using my “platform” to sell a product.
And if I joyfully share the blessing of a small commission that God had blessed me with through my new journey with a network marketing (gulp!) company…
…I’m nothing more than an opportunist who will regret the decision that I have made to share about my newfound health and the company that helped me to get there.
Tell me something, body of Christ. What is it with this mentality?! How can people so easily put one another in a box, and lo and behold, should they ever take on anything other than that one thing that they are known for…well, they’re nothing more than pathetic Christians who have deviated from the narrow road?
How can it be that we so easily cast judgment and condemnation…
…when we know NOTHING about a person’s life and why they are doing what they do!
When did we ever become a group of people who convict more and extend grace less?
What gives any of us the right to decide what is best for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ?
God forbid they should do anything less than what we had planned for their lives!
Forget Jesus and His unique calling on each of our lives.
Forget the grace that we so freely have been given and are meant to give back lavishly.
I don’t get it.
This mentality has permeated the Lord’s Church.
Judgment and offense!
People get offended for the most ridiculous things. And if there’s nothing to truly get offended about…yup, they’ll find something.
And what right do any of us have to judge the single mother of two who has taken on selling cosmetics to try and feed her children in a tough economy?
Who has the right to point fingers at the father who lost his job in this bad economy and has become a consultant for a product that he loves in order to prevent his family from going on welfare? We should be applauding him for his efforts and helping him stay off of welfare, for goodness sakes! He’s doing SOMETHING!
Or, what about the precious couple who are selling a product because they have exhausted all other options and are still short on funds for their adoption? Tell me…how can that possibly be wrong?
Who dares cast judgment on the family who has pleaded for months and months for the body of Christ to come alongside them and support them on the mission field? They cried out for support and only a pitiful handful could find a $25 monthly donation to give! So the Almighty Father gave them another way to sustain themselves through selling something that has changed their lives for the good. And He placed His faithful hand upon it and blessed it abundantly saying, “Go now…do the work of the ministry.”
When God’s people fail to rise up, He WILL provide another way!
“Oh, but I have seen people try to sell their products in our church and that is just WRONG!” they tell me.
Really? I thought we were a people who are called to care deeply for one another and carry one another’s burdens!
I thought that our brothers and sisters in Christ should be the FIRST place where we go when life knocks us down and we need a helping hand.
When I read my Bible and stories about the first-century Church in the book of Acts, I see people selling all their possessions and helping one another sacrificially. THIS WAS CHURCH!
“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.” ~~ Acts 4: 32-35
When did we lose the freedom to be able to openly share with our family in Christ something that we were doing to make life a little easier for our families?
It’s just wrong, people!
This is not the Christianity that I believe in.
I would MUCH rather buy something from a friend who is a consultant for a skin care company than go and buy something similar from large department store.
Simply because it blesses my heart to know that my measly purchase on auto ship helps that precious mom relieve some of the financial burden her husband has been carrying for many years when he has been unable to find a decent job. This is KINGDOM! Yes, I’ll do it!
Because that’s what we do in a herd (in the words of the very wise Manny from Ice Age).
We hope for the best for one another.
We’re His BODY! A body that needs each other.
We don’t slam them because it’s a multi-level marketing business (or whatever!). We rejoice because we choose to see the blessing in it—our purchase helps that mother to climb higher on the ladder, and that means that she will be MORE blessed financially. This is God’s economy. We rejoice in one another’s successes, and we shout for joy when they are victorious.
This is the Kingdom of God coming to the earth. That we, as His people, would choose to love more, graciously accept that someone else is on their own journey with God, and go to the ends of the earth to be a blessing to one another.
And as for me, well, I’m moving forward in everything that my God in heaven has planned for me. I’ll continue to give Him all the honor, and all the glory, and all the praise for what He does in my life. I’ll shout it from the rooftops that He has done great things and I’ll joyfully continue to share my journey to better health with a company that I love. I will continue to be a helpmeet to my amazing husband who works so hard to provide for his family by continuing on with what God has placed in my hands in this season. If anyone doesn’t agree or gets offended, that’s okay. There are many more blogs to read other than my little space in the world of blogging.
…my audience is ONE.
His opinion is the only one I need.
Go and be a blessing to someone who is working with all of their hearts to provide for their families. I can tell you that it will mean the absolute world to them.
Let’s love more and judge less, people of a gracious Father in heaven.