“For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed?” —1 Samuel 24:20
This is a very difficult ask. “Do good to those who hate you”. Just wow! I recently experienced some hate directed toward me on social media. (It’s the risk of being a public figure or one who wants to evangelize in a digital world.) There are always going to be negative people, who say mean things – haters. This is very prevalent in the world we live aka “the Twitterverse”. We are all broken. And out of this brokenness, people lash out (including ourselves at times.) How do we respond? This is the challenge!
Again, the Holy Spirit is always working even when we are not aware of it. Sometimes I become very aware of it, like yesterday. Almost directly after experiencing this mean keyboard lashing from someone behind their screen, I open my daily reflection book and read the following reflection which was just like God was speaking to me. I wanted to share it with you, because we all will encounter haters who are hurting. What we do with that encounter is our choice, our challenge. The reflection beginning in the next paragraph gives us a guide on how Jesus responded, and how we can emulate him. (The reflection below is from Presentation Ministries One Bread, One Body.) And if you are looking for more advice on how to handle digital trolls, CLICK HERE, or to get a full “how-to” evangelize in a digital age, CLICK HERE for my new book “Breaking New Ground: Discipleship Using New Media.” I go into great detail in Chapter 8 on “Tips for Digital Discipleship” including how to deal with negative experiences online.
Jesus and David were both in a position to overcome their bitter enemies, but spared them. David was a seasoned warrior, a man of blood-stained hands (1 Chr 22:8), who had often killed. When he found Saul in a defenseless position (1 Sm 24:4ff), David could have easily killed him. However, David spared Saul, though he knew Saul would continue to seek his life.Continue reading