Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets. Luke 6:26
I have participated in the famous social network known as Facebook for quite some time and have a few hundred persons known as "friends" on the network. Over time there has been a lot of interaction and many responses to things I have posted.
In dealing with responses I have tried to learn a lesson which was revealed through the experience one pastor had many years ago.
The pastor was walking down a sidewalk toward the home of a church member he wanted to visit. Before he reached his destination, he noticed some distance away an English bulldog coming in his direction in the middle of the sidewalk. As the two got closer to one another there was a sudden barking from a small dog in the yard of one home as the bulldog passed by. But the bulldog never so much as gave a glance in the direction of the one making all the noise. It was one of those "yap" dogs - small in size, but big in the mouth and always yapping all the time about something. But the bulldog would not be distracted. He continued to lumber along at a steady pace looking straight ahead.
The pastor reports that he too had been walking in the middle of the sidewalk and now this bulldog was getting close -- he was still in the middle of the sidewalk and gave no indication that he was going to change his position. So the pastor said that he stepped to the side of the walk and the bulldog just kept going with not the slightest hesitation, passing by the pastor without glancing a bit at him -- same response as he had made to the yap dog just a short time earlier.
The pastor turned and watched as the bulldog continued on his way -- it was obvious that the bulldog was headed somewhere and was not about to be detoured or distracted regarding his destination. After a bit as the bulldog got further away, the pastor said he bowed his head and prayed, "God, give me what that bulldog has!"
Due to posting subject matter related to my website and my blog as well as a wide variety of images with comments, there have been numerous responses. Some have been complimentary and express in one or another agreement with the posting. But others have been quite negative and in some cases those responding have been extremely upset to the point of labeling me in not very flattering terms! I do not respond to such -- yes, I could engage in the art of trying to set them "straight" but I won't -- I have more important things to do. The bulldog had a destination toward which he was moving and he was not about to be distracted from that by a yap dog with its noise or a pastor standing in the side walk. I also have a destination toward which I am moving -- and I have to be careful that I do not allow myself to be distracted and/or detoured along the way.
That bulldog was a good teacher! I am grateful for his example, so, "Lord, give me what that bulldog has!"
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." --- Matthew 5:10-16