A soft answer to harsh words

As some of you know, I’m from South Africa, so we have a very traumatic past coloured by discrimination, violence and hatred. The country has grown up a lot, but you will still find wounds buried deep in the hearts of some citizens.

One day I had commented on one of my black friend’s Facebook walls. I had commented about how heart breaking it was to see people without homes.

All of a sudden I received this message from another black person who I had never met in my life saying,
Hey white b*tch – As far as I can see ur picture and ur name, wat ever that means, you are white and that makes u a non- South African. If i were u i’ll shut up. Do u know where u come from? look at your mirror if u do have one and take the first plane or boat home. For the virtue of being white that makes u a non-African! Go home u’ve looted us enough!! Remember June 16 1976? My brother was there and was part of it!” (spelling his own)

I’m not gonna lie. I was petrified. Luckily I was so petrified that I didn’t even have the capacity to fall into the sin of anger! I never replied straight away because I knew I would’ve said the wrong thing. The fleshly thing!

I closed Facebook and prayed. I prayed for wisdom to either ignore the message, or for the Holy Spirit to give me the right words to say. Whatever His will was.

I got an urging to message him back and all I said was a simple, “Hi, I am sorry if I offended you and made you angry. All I meant was that I hate seeing people without jobs and homes, food etc and its heart-breaking, that’s all. Enjoy your day.

He replied, “because of your greedy appetite as Whites u’ve made us live in match boxes in Soweto and everywhere around our humble beautiful Africa. We were so fine till u thugs arrived! Enjoy your day too. I just can’t stand u people thats all!”
See the change in attitude? “enjoy your day too…that’s all.” Almost explaining himself by ‘that’s all.’ You want me dead but now you’re telling me to enjoy my day? Kindness melts hearts, Jesus was onto something here right? “A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

So, I decided to seal the conversation with Jesus. Jesus’ name has that awesome ability to stop anything dead in its tracks. I replied, “I’m truly sorry about your brother, I really am, I’m not just saying that. I’m sorry for your tragedy. I’m also sad that you hate me. I don’t know if you will understand this but I love you without knowing you because Jesus Christ commanded me to. I can’t take your pain away, but He can, if you will let him.

I never heard from him again. I’m sure he wanted more than anything to have this vicious fight with this stupid white girl and get all his friends involved. And if I obeyed my flesh, that’s what he would’ve gotten! He pops into my head now and then and I pray for him. I could have blocked him to ensure he never started trouble with me again, but what would that help? I just spoke Jesus’ name to him but to show the opposite of love by blocking him would have probably shown that I don’t actually have any interest, I never meant what I said and I really just wanted him off my back. Jesus does not want people off His back, He wants them in His kingdom.

We don’t ever have to prove our point or even defend ourselves. I don’t think our job is ever to defend ourselves. As much as others’ words may hurt or frighten us, we should not draw attention to ourselves, but to Jesus. Jesus is perfect, and when finding yourself in a situation like that, who can argue with Perfection?

 

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