Someone who read I Left My Prostate in San Francisco-Where's Yours? posted a review on Amazon.com describing my wife and me as "basket cases" I must confess I went through a range of emotions. The first was anger. I didn't mind being attacked as much having someone attack my wife. I wanted to strike back in some way. After the anger died down, then came hurt. We poured our hearts out into that book and shared very intimate details of our lives in order to help others. I couldn't believe someone would be so callous as to call us "basket cases".
Then the learning began. It occurred to me that whenever you step into the public eye, especially if your motivated by your faith as Brenda & I are, you can expect to run into two types of opposition. The first is haters. They will do what they can to betray or hurt you. They take a perverse pleasure in causing you harm.
The second form of opposition is detractors. They're the folks who'll say awful things about you personally or what you are trying to do. We had our first experience with a Detractor with someone who reviewed our book on an Amazon Review. He used his review to attack Brenda & I personally.
I've learned can't reason with a hater or detractor, It's God who has the power to transform Haters and Detractors. Paul was a hater. He help kill new believers.He was transformed by the Lord. That's what you do with Detractors and Haters, turn them over to Jesus.
The last thing you want to do is attempt to reason with them. That effort is doomed to fail.
One of the most amazing things about Jesus is how often He prepares you for what you'll face in this word:
If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
If you are out there doing serving the Lord expect to experience opposition from Haters and Detractors. When you do REJOICE!
I would preferred to read when Haters & Detractors surround you fight back. Fighting back frequently involves responding to sin in the flesh with sinful strategies. That is the way of the world and every Christian has done this in their lives more than once. The Bible gives us the opportunity to respond differently. Rather than to feel angry and seek revenge the Bible tells us that's not now how to respond to a blessing.
Blessed are you when men hate you,And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,For the Son of Man's sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
That said, sometimes it's also appropriate to take action.Since I believe it is against Amazon policy to write personal attacks in reviews, I reported the Review to Amazon.
So today I received a double blessing. It took restraint and self control on my part to follow this directive:
Be angry, and do not sin
Yet I found a way to do that. I wrote amazon asking if that personal attack could be edited out of the review. Whether they do that or not, I felt good that I took appropriate action rather than find a way to strike back at the person who wrote the review. So I got angry, but didn't sin. That was a good spiritual lesson.
The second and most important opportunity is to learn is to experience the gift only our Haters and Detractors. When we can see things from an eternal perspective we have the opportunity to rejoice and leap for joy. I'm not there yet, but each day brings me closer.