I really could kick myself when I screw up, especially when I do it on a public forum, because then in order to make it right, I have to apologize on a public forum. Some day, maybe I will learn to sit on my fingers and keep my big mouth shut.
This past week, on St. Patrick’s day, I was tweeting with my future sister-in-law. I misunderstood when she told me a woman did something that I felt was out of line and trashy, and proceeded to tweet my opinion of this woman. The woman in question is a former friend from the lifestyle that I recently turned from. The things that I proceeded to write were completely out of line. Definitely NOT behavior becoming of a follower of Christ. At the time I tweeted the remarks, I was not aware that this woman is herself a Christian. But that doesn’t matter, if she were an unbeliever it was a lousy testimony on my part. Not to mention lousy to anyone reading it. I said the things believing that she no longer followed me and would never see what I said. But that doesn’t make it right, does it? Sin is still sin, even if it goes unseen by others, because God sees it. She and I used to refer to this as fantasy dialog, believing that if we said it to others, but not the person we were talking about, that it was okay. But that isn’t true either, Ephesians 4:29 addresses ANYONE that hears what we say should be edified by our words. Mine tore down, did not in anyway build up.
To her credit, she followed the proper order of discipline of believers that is outlined in Matthew 18:15-20:
Dealing with a Sinning Brother
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’[a] 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say[b] to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
She wrote to my pastor, and copied me on her email. It was a loving rebuke by a fellow believer, and I’m going to share it, but I will put the tweets in order so they make sense, though only my side of the conversation is here as the other person’s tweets are private:
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To Whom It May Concern,
I consider myself a God fearing and loving person. My first love is Him and His word. It pains me when a fellow Christian casts untruths and cast stones on a fellow Christians. I will pray for your church member as I know in my heart she is lost. My own personal experiences have taught me, we can not be one with Him until we are true believers.
“Blessed are they that do His Commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Revelation 22:14-15 KJV)
God Bless, the following is a copy and pasted message.
Yours in Christ,
Teresa L. Exxxxxxxxx* *(last name withheld by me to respect her privacy)
SO glad I don’t have to go hang around in a bar looking up kilts and dressed like a cheap ho to feel special. Better to be classy.
@xxxxxx (again name withheld to protect privacy of party I was tweeting with) – Oh wait, that is because I am NOT a ho, cheap or otherwise. I’m a lady and will act like one. Enough said
@xxxxxx – be thankful your man doesn’t parade you around like a second rate hooker! Gotta love our guys
@xxxxxx – oh wait, hookers charge, that leather ho gives it away, no one would pay for it!!!
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I know, rather harsh of me, and completely out of line. I did send an email of apology to her, and I will include that here. And again, Teresa/Queenie, I DO apologize, you are right, it was uncalled for and out of line.
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My first reaction to your email was a bit of shock, I had no idea you are a believer, as my only knowledge of your life is the lifestyle you were living, as a swinger, when I met you. I was under the impression you still are a swinger, my apologies for that. I was unaware that you had come to Christ and left that lifestyle behind you, as I have.
However, regardless of what I believed of your life, my tweets on 3/17 were indeed out of line, a behavior most unbecoming of a follower of Christ. There are still many areas where I fall short, and in this case I really was wrong. Even though I did not think you would see them, it is no excuse.
Matthew 5:23-24 (New King James Version)
23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Certainly you have something against me, and I’m thankful you brought it out now, before communion comes around again, so that I have the opportunity to make it right.
Ephesians 4:29 (New King James Version)
29 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
Certainly my words did not impart grace to those that read them. I am very sorry.
I do ask your forgiveness. Sister in Christ or not, I did not act a godly manner, and sinned against you. As a believer, it was wrong of me. It was out of line toward a fellow believer, and a terrible witness and testimony to you and others. I appreciate your loving rebuke. You could have chosen to stoop to my level, and attacked me back, but you took the high road and followed a biblical course of dealing with the issue, per Matthew 18:15-20.
Romans 12:17-21 (New King James Version)
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore
“ If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[b]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
You are due a public apology as well, since my sin was rather public, and I intend to do so.
I also rejoice in knowing that you’ve left behind the sinful way of life we had both been leading!
Love in Christ,