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Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Cost of Bandwidth

Have you ever sat down at your computer only to find that someone, somewhere in blogland not only has an issue with you or something you have shared but they took the time to comment or post about it or maybe send you an email concerning it?

Maybe you are the one who has had an issue and made sure you voiced your opinion about it.

Either way, this is the cost of bandwidth.

I once was told of a situation that occurred between a reader and a blog author that had to do with her being remarried and her children now having a stepfather. The lady emailed the mom questioning her judgment to put her children in such a predicament.

"Stepchildren are less likely to succeed in our culture today. They suffer because of what their parents have done. Children need to be with their biological mother and father and not someone who has simply "step"ped in to fulfill a role. I pray for your children."

Yes, that is what the lady said. The problem here was her perspective of that particular situation.

The mom, who was on the receiving end of this, emailed me to ask how she should handle this knowing that I too am a mother of "stepchildren." I smiled and promptly emailed her back and said just pray for her and email her and thank her for her concern and prayers. Let her know that Jesus can most certainly help your children overcome this. After all, he too was a stepchild.

{don't you just love how the answers come so clearly when it isn't YOU on the receiving end?}

She sent her an email. The woman received it and immediately apologized for her haste judgment. After she received the email she had indeed prayed about it and God had shown her that stepchildren are no different than adopted children and she herself had adopted two. She had also "step"ped in to fulfill a role - a God given one. God also showed her that her opinion on the matter was developed at a young age because she was a stepchild and had never dealt with the issues buried in her own heart.

Romans 8:28
"And we know that all things work together for good to those that love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose"
While we can all agree that in most all circumstances it is best for children to be raised by both biological parents this isn't always possible. Unfortunately, some spouse's are forced to sign divorce papers, some were harmed physically or their spouse had multiple affairs and refused to stop, or sometimes spouse's die. Knowing the situation beforehand, God purposed for Jesus to be a stepchild and he purposed for Joseph to be a stepfather. We can't presume to know what God has purposed for many other Christian women in our circle. And let me state that I'm not talking about the black and white stuff here. Some things he made clear in his word and some he didn't. As much as we would like to think that we have all the answers the true wisdom is in those who seek him first before making haste judgments, rather that is to impose your personal opinion or conviction on someone or to act in a defensive way by responding while hurt.

I failed this test earlier this week. Someone emailed me and questioned my judgment of a movie that I liked because it was "R" rated for violence and I was swift on the keyboard to email her back and let her know that these ratings were man made, this movie had no evil spiritual implications, and there are plenty of movies rated "PG" or even "G" that are completely demonic. When it was all said and done I reread the email and then read it again and again. God began to give me compassion for her. Who knows why she has such strong feelings or why she felt the need to express them to me but she is God's child and he loves her dearly and the least I could have done was ask him what I should do before I hit "send." Thank you, Jesus that I can repent and start over afresh in his mercy every morning. I will most certainly think twice before acting on impulse again. I hope.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
We must give an account for every action and reaction of our heart whether done in in person or in cyber world. God sees no difference in the two. We can support and uplift each other even when we don't understand each other. If we see a problem with someone else we should pray first and then if God impresses us to act or react, then do it.

  • Can you recall a time when you acted hastily? How could you have handled that differently?
  • Do you justify your reactions to people? If so, how will you work on changing that?
God, you are the ultimate example of love and mercy. I am thankful to be on the receiving end of that. Please help me to extend forgiveness, grace, and mercy to others. Reveal to me how to be an extension of your love. I don't want the cost of bandwidth to be the loss of one of your children. Give me a new perspective on things, hands that are clean, and a pure heart. In Jesus' name, Amen.

I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

In Pursuit of Proverbs 31

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Blogger Denise said...

Really wonderful post sweetie.

August 23, 2008 at 1:17 AM  
Blogger Darnelle said...

Someone's 'judgement' of us always seems to push our buttons doesn't it? Your words spoke volumes today Honey. My analytical brain always wants to throw out a defense of my life LONG before I stop to ask God what I should say (instead of defending myself). I want to try to remember that when someone slings hurtful judgements in my direction, they are probably hurting on the inside themselves. I could help to advance God's kingdom far better if I learn to recognize that instead of jumping to my own defense. Thank you, Friend, for the reminder. Love ya!

August 23, 2008 at 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been there done that also, Amy! Thank you for the reminder. This devotional caught my attention because I am also a "step-parent" (preferably mentor mom)and have been there. God is so awesome in His longsuffering with us!

Thanks again!

August 23, 2008 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Marilyn - A Mixed Bouquet said...

What a wonderful response! If she had responded in a negative manner, I'm sure the outcome would have been much different.

As a step-mom and adoptive mom, I can appreciate this insight.

Great post!

August 23, 2008 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Amy, I loved this devo. It was awesome.

Thanks for sharing!


August 23, 2008 at 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Robin @ Heart of Wisdom said...

Great post Amy.

I often get such questions and really have to pray. Isn't it great when we can start a dialog? If we take the time to ask God what He wants us to do instead of knee jerk react--He can use it to teach everyone involved.

August 23, 2008 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Karin Katherine said...

Yes, I too have been swift on a keyboard---to my own shame. What a great reminder to go to God first before we respond.

My children live at home with both their parents but I am a stepmother to my husband's three older daughters. It is a constant struggle and one I need to pray more about.

Blogging and the internet makes people a little more "bold" than they would be in real life. But this only gives us more opportunities to show grace and forgiveness.

August 24, 2008 at 8:03 AM  
Blogger Sprittibee said...

So true. It is so easy to judge others and miss that plank in our own eye. I have also heard it said that when you point a finger at someone, there are at least four pointing back at yourself. ;)

Lord, teach us to season our speech with the grace you first extended - the grace that spread between your two arms on the cross.

August 24, 2008 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Mark and Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

Whoh! This speaks to me! I'm dealing with some comments on my own blog following a post two days ago about a church problem. I have to take a step back before responding to some of the comments. Especially the Anonymous ones. You've laid it out so well - we ARE definitely held accountable whether we are acting or REacting.

Thank goodness, however, for "Comment Moderation."

September 2, 2008 at 10:49 PM  

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