How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, Hater


Impossible to please everybody J C Ryle quote

 Some might think I live in a bubble because I’ve homeschooled my kids for the last 5 years…they’d be wrong.  For the first 18 years of my life, I attended public schools.  I also worked in the “real world” as a waitress for many years and later as a receptionist, Administrative Assistant and Business Sales Rep.  During those years, I made friends with all sorts – gay and straight, Mormon, Jehovah Witness, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist and every denomination from Charismatic to Fundamentalist to Methodist and Presbyterian.

I sincerely enjoy people and anyone who is kind to me, I quickly adopt as a friend.

I have never been shy about my faith  - 100% of those I listed above, I discussed faith with and probably 25% of them I gave a Bible to as a gift.

And never – never once was I ever called intolerant, judgmental or a hater.  Why?

Because when we are able to get to know people in real life –real flesh and blood, we are able to know a person’s heart, accept them as they are and understand differences without getting angry.

But the on-line world is a whole.different.story!

Did you know that 7% of our communication is words, 38% is through vocal tones and 55% through NON-VERBAL elements like facial expressions, gestures and posture.

This means that when we discuss “hot topics” on-line, 93% of our heart as we communicate (the non-verbals) are missing.

I believe this gets Christians into hot water – FAST!

A 140 character tweet that contains “truth” as we call it  - can sound judgmental or hateful to someone who sees you as…judgmental or hateful.

A Facebook debate where we add our 2 cents, in the most gracious way we can, can come off as intolerant.

It is incredibly hard to speak “truth in love” on-line!  This is why I’m continually putting hearts and smiley faces all over my social media. It is my attempt to give some non-verbal love.

Before I share how I handle these labels, I want to share some of what I have faced on-line.  I have received hundreds of comments and emails with insults.  The first time it happened, I was devastated…it was five and a half years ago on a post about my daughter and this woman commented and said ~ “I hope your daughter becomes an atheist and never speaks to you again.”

Total shock! I only had about 50 followers at the time and it came so out of left field that it troubled me for weeks!

But as my blog grew – the volume of insults grew too.  With each new insult, I was a little less shocked.

Here’s an example of some negative comments I have received on my Women Living Well Youtube Channel:

  • I hate you. You need to be slapped, promoting these erroneous morals that destroy progression in our modern world.
  • Keep this in mind: You make the world a worse place. You are the reason for war. You are the reason for violence. You are the reason for all of the willful ignorance in the world. YOU are the cause of EVERYTHING evil involving gender equality. YOU.
  • How sad that you treat a book that has been rewritten and proven false to be absolute truth. I feel pity that you will never know real life by throwing it away. Stupid doesn’t begin to cover your retarded beliefs. Here’s hoping you grow a brain and are unable to have children to grow up into this self-destroying dogma.
  • Cuckoo! Cuckoo!
  • You are a foolish woman!!!
  • It’s preposterous to claim you follow God’s word literally. You follow what your warped surroundings have ingrained in your twisted mind.
  • Crazy that my post didn’t make it! Can’t deal with the true contradictions of your flawed bible, you ignorant creature?
  • You’re an idiot bigot.
  • You want to brain-wash your kids into your silly myth and keep them from the truth.
  • I find you Highly annoying and egregiously idealistic…I am pretty sure you are no Provebs 31 woman, and everything you claim that is so amazing to you is actually so far from reach and unattainable that your constant lust for perfection causes you severe emotional break downs.
  • God’s word? What bull sh**! What the f*** would you know what god wants?
  • this is retarded. , F*** your ideas , F*** your literal bible translation, and F*** you.

And just last week – I got a long ranting email – this is a short excerpt:

You are so fake and obnoxious in your videos. Your over-sized fake smile with your giant gums is so annoying that I’ve stopped watching your videos entirely.

OUCH!!!!!!!

A W Tozer To be right with men

For years, this has surrounded me – at times, I’d say it has even jaded me.  I have always been one to assume the good in others…but I’ll admit, I see things differently now.  I live in the midst of spiritual warfare everyday.

I used to speak more boldly…and I thought that maybe my choice to soften a bit was maturity…but now I realize it’s not maturity – it’s fear.  I have a lot of fear inside of me.

And I have cried out to God – how in the world do I respond to these people?

Luke 6:27-36 (NIV)

Love your Enemies

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 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. 35 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 children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Mercy.

We follow a crucified man…the crowds hated Jesus to the point of death –of course we’re going to be labeled and insulted.

Being a follower of Christ means…

we must humble ourselves.(Philippians 2)

we must deny ourselves. (Luke 9:23)

we must live the crucified life. (Galatians 2:20)

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

***Pause for a moment…is there a person that God is bringing to mind that you need to extend mercy to?  This person has wrongfully labeled you, either in real life or on-line, and you are hurt, angry and have shut them out.

Be kinder than you feel.

Luke 6:35 says – “your reward will be great” if you extend mercy.

I have a feeling the Holy Spirit is bringing someone to mind for all of us. Do you feel that nudge?  Don’t ignore it!

We have a direct command from Jesus –”Pray for those who mistreat you.”

Go heap kindness on them! You will be blessed!

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.
Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
~Romans 12:20,21

Walk with the King,

Courtney

The other posts in this series:
Speaking the Truth In Love
The Authority of Scripture and 5 Ways to Defend Truth
The Ultimate Cultural Sin –Intolerance
How to Respond to the Labels – Intolerant, Judgmental, and Hater
What is Sound Doctrine?
Should Christians Simply Unite Around the Gospel?
Can a Woman Be an Elder or Pastor?
Should a Wife Submit To Her Husband?
Can Good Works Save You?
Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

The Women Living Well Book Club – Chapter 1

Book Club Week 1 chap 1 Header

Welcome to the Women Living Well book club!

Today’s reading assignment was the Introduction and Chapter 1.

Voices The Great I AM

The book opens and closes pointing to the fact that we have to INTENTIONALLY shut out the clamor of this world so we can hear the voice of God.

My daughter was sick this past week – throwing up! Blak!  I knew she was sick the minute she lost her appetite.

And I wonder – Have you lost your appetite for God’s word?  Is your soul sick?  Has another voice crowded out the voice of God in your life?

The key to being women who live well – is to keep coming back to the living waters over and over and over and over again.  Never stop drinking from the living well!

Discussion: Chapter 1

Chapter 1 begins with John Piper’s quote below.  This quote comes from his book titled: When I Don’t Desire God (available for free on pdf here).

John Piper Quote

The first Biblical character found in my book might be considered a strange one – he’s not typically the center of a children’s Sunday School lesson or pastor’s Sunday morning sermon.  It’s Enoch, whose name means “devoted” or “dedicated”.  This guy FASCINATES me!

Genesis 5:24 tells us “Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”  Hebrews 11:5 tells us, before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.

So how in the world did he walk with God so well, that God decided to pluck him from earth rather than waiting until he died?

John MacArthur says “the term walk expresses the idea of moment by moment fellowship with the Lord.”

Scripture says Noah walked with God and Abraham walked with God. And I want it to be said of me “Courtney walked with God.”

I want that!

So how do we get that?

solitude

Let’s Discuss:

Below this video are our discussion questions for the comment section – please share your answers and thoughts there.  Here’s a 5 minute video of my answers!


(if you cannot see the video – click here!)

 

1.)  On a scale of 1-10 (10 = great; 1 = stinky) , how is your walk with God right now?

2.) What would you say is your greatest hindrance to carving out time to meet with God in your busy day?

3.)  Grab your Bible and read (or google) Hebrews 11:5-6.  What does verse 6 state that we must do and believe if we want to be like Enoch?

4.) What is one intentional thing you can do this week to begin creating space and solitude to earnestly seek after God?

Prayer:
Father, help me to carve out calm in my day so I can hear from You clearly.  I want to be like Enoch, walking closely with You, my King. Amen.

I want to hear from you – what are your thoughts? Share them in the comment section below.

For Discussion on the Forum:  Do you have questions or thoughts you want to share from Chapter 1 — head on over to the forum and write them under the “Chapter 1″ thread (this thread is at the very bottom of the forum).  

5 Steps For Determining God’s Will

Lately, I have wrestled with trying to figure out God’s will for some areas in my life.  Two weeks ago, my pastor gave this 5 step process for determining God’s will:

1. God’s will is revealed in his written word – the Bible.

2. God often uses wise people in our lives to advise us and help us determine God’s will.   

3. God reveals his will through open and closed doors.

4.  God reveals his will through inner peace or turmoil.

5.  God uses our obedience for his glory.

Number 5 resonates with me during this holiday season…because Mary the mother of Jesus comes to mind – her obedience to God’s plans are staggering! 

Have you ever thought about Mary’s friendships and how they must have been affected by this baby that appeared to show up out of wedlock…how some of the women probably talked behind her back and said “ya right – an angel appeared to her!”  Those stares and the slander must have stung. 

But Mary followed God no matter what the cost.

Then Mary gave birth to this perfectly behaved child…do you know how hard it’d be - to be friends with a new mom whose child is PERFECT!!!  Let me be the first to raise my hand and say that going to a play date is already intimidating for me…I never know what my sugar plums are going to do next!  But then to live next door to the woman whose child NEVER does anything wrong…oh dear…again Mary was most likely the talk of the town!

But Mary followed God no matter what the cost.

Mary enters the scene in the Bible at Jesus’ conception and then she is only mentioned a few times throughout Jesus’ life. She is there at the foot of the cross on the day that he is crucified. Jesus was her son and Jesus was her Savior – can you imagine?    What did people think of her – the mother of this perfect man? The mother of this hated man?

But Mary followed God no matter what the cost.

This must have been a hardship yet we never see her asserting herself – trying to control Jesus so people will think better of them. She understood she was just the vessel that God used to bring this God/Man to earth. How her heart must have ached watching her son be beaten and nailed to the cross…the cost…

Though Mary could not possibly understand all that God was doing – she was open to God’s plan for her life. She offered all of herself – her pride, her plans, her time and talents to be a servant to God. She understood that her life was not her own.  She followed God no matter what the cost.

I Corinthians 6:20 says “You are not your own. You were bought at a price, therefore, honor God with your body.”

This baby Jesus, who we are about to celebrate the birth of, was born to pay the price for my sins.  I am not my own…

I want to live my life completely surrendered to him no matter what the cost.   

And yet,

I

falter

because of the cost…

and I

wrestle

because of the cost…

and I doubt God’s will

because there seems to be a cost attached…

and then I am reminded of this beautiful young woman Mary…

and I find strength. 

And then I reflect on her son Jesus and I’m reminded that – yes – there is a cost…but not the selfish one I’m so focused on…there was a cost for my sins and it was paid by Jesus’ shed blood on the cross…and I serve a Worthy Risen Savior…I surrender!

Walk with the King!

Courtney

Comparing Myself to a REAL1950′s Wife

On the Rachael Ray Show I was dubbed a “1950′s Wife“. But my grandmother, a mother of 4, is the REAL 1950′s wife. She is ALSO a Proverbs 31 woman. On Mother’s Day we sat in the Cheesecake Factory and I had my notebook and pen in hand and I wrote and wrote and wrote about what life was like in the 1950′s. Here’s some of what I learned.

My grandma had a weekly schedule that my mother rattled off as quickly as my grandmother did!! So this must be where I get my scheduling tendencies - it’s in my genes lol!!!

Mondays – Wash Clothes (by hand in sudsy water, ring it, rinse it, ring it, hang it outside to dry. This took all day.)

Tuesdays – Iron ( Iron everything – shirts, pants, and underwear. There was no permanent press – everything was very wrinkly. This took all day.)

Wednesdays – Mend and work on new sewing projects (She sewed patches onto pants and mended socks. My grandmother sewed all of my mother’s clothes until she reached the middle of high school.)

Thursdays – Cleaning of bedrooms and bathrooms (They only had one car which was normal in those days. Grandpa did the grocery shopping and grandma worked the garden.)

Fridays – Cleaning of living room, dining room and kitchen (Grandma baked every day. She made cinnamon rolls, pies, donuts and cakes from scratch.)

Saturdays – Prepare for Sunday by cooking double meals and giving baths etc. (Grandma always made hamburgers for dinner on Saturdays because they were fast. Then she focused on the Sunday Roast and sheet cake that they would eat after church.)

Sundays – Day of Rest


Grandma’s life was full and busy as she lovingly cared for her family. She served God by serving her family. She worked with eager hands (Prov. 31:13b), she set about her work vigorously (Prov. 31:17), she watched over the affairs of her household and did not eat the bread of idleness (Prov. 31:27). And the most beautiful part was she feared the Lord (Prov. 31:30).

Do I want to be a 1950′s wife? Not really, I certainly do love my modern day conveniences. But if there’s a 1950′s wife I’d like to emulate, it’s not June Cleaver – it’s my grandmother. Her God and her family were of prime importance and her daily priorities show this to be true.

As Proverbs 31:31 says “Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.”

My grandmother’s works are worthy of my praise. And I pray that my generation too would be remarkable in our care for our families and homes and that we too would be worthy of praise. We must work with eager hands! The world may not praise us but one day our husband and children will rise up and call us blessed and our works will bring praise. So endeavor today to make your God and your family your first priority as my REAL 1950′s grandmother did.

Walk with the King!

Welcome New Readers

In the past day or two, there’s been rumblings of anger from some who oppose the Summer Marriage Challenge. First, something popped up on youtube, then on twitter, then on a blog post (that received over 200 comments from women – most were displeased) and on blogfrog. As news spread about this challenge, some women were displeased that other women would actually pursue such a challenge.
I have seen my visitor numbers sky rocket as a result of this controversy and I know some of these women are reading this post so “welcome to Women Living Well!”. I am honestly happy that you are here even if you are not pleased with me!!! I’m ok with that! If we were meeting in person, I’d invite you to sit at my kitchen table and have a glass of lemonade and chat but alas, we are in blogland.
There are so many things that have been twisted over cyberspace that I could not possibly attempt to untwist them. So, instead let’s go straight to the root of the problem.
The foundational issue is this. Do you believe there is a God? Do you believe that we can know God personally? Do you believe that the Bible is the Word of God?
How you answer those three fundamental questions, will affect how you see everything else on my blog, facebook, twitter, youtube etc.. My answer to those three questions are yes.
1. I believe that the Bible is God’s inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word and is the sole written revelation that rules the faith and practice for all Christians and alone can bind the conscience. I believe that God has preserved His Word and that by His power it has been kept from being lost, destroyed, or diluted with error (2 Timothy 3:16; Psalm 119:89; 1 Peter 1:23, 25).
2. I believe in one God, Creator of all things, perfect in love and holiness, Who exists as three Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14;1 Peter 1:2).
3. I believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and entered human form by the miracle of the Virgin Birth, that He lived a sinless life, and that He died for our sins. Christ is the only mediator through whose work we are redeemed. I believe that He rose again on the third day and now sits at the right hand of God as our Advocate (Matthew 1:18-25; John 1:1, 14, 3:16; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 1:3; 1 John 2:1).
The title of my blog is Women Living Well. Jesus said in John 4:13 “Everyone who drinks this water will be thristy again (he was referring to physical water in a well), but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
I believe that when a woman repents of her sin, believes in Jesus and pursues a personal relationship with God by drinking from the living well (that is God’s word) she will live well! Hence, the name of the blog – - Women Living Well!
So God’s word is my authority and the principles I encourage on this site flow from the Bible and my personal relationship with Jesus. If you are uncomfortable with the principles that are taught on Women Living Well then your issue is not with me. It’s with God.
If you are unsure what the Bible says or just know tid bits, I would encourage you to open a Bible and begin to read. Here’s an overview of the Bible and where to start. I encourage you to stick around for a while and lurk and see what it’s all about. If you are still angry with me – I will not be debating with you. There are many blogs out there that support your view. This blog is a safe haven for those who believe the Bible. Thank you for stopping by and I hope you will come again!

Walk with the King!