Today I took a quick look at google analytics to see how many people were still reading my blog. I thought the numbers would be low due to my sporadic posts in recent weeks. To my amazement, yesterday I had 110 visits and 145 pageviews. Now that probably doesn't sound like much, but this blog usually averages only 15-20 visits and pageviews a day.
Typically a large amount of my traffic comes from Anna's Maidens of Worth site, but I found that only accounted for 13 of the visits. To my surprise I found that 68 visitors came from a gossip site. Yes indeed! I won't link to it here since I don't want that site to gain any more readers due to my post. But it's a site that seems to have as its focus sin. One of its members must be a reader of Anna's website. This reader took good statements that Anna made and begin to twist them into negative comments about me. Then more got into the fun and they begin to take a look at my blog and the blogs of my friends to come up with things to twist. That site is popular - 16 people commented about the first person's post and added more things deride. That post was read by at least 68 people if you assume that each person who read the post visited my blog.
There are things that this world has twisted. They've taken what is good and because they can't imagine the good is true, they will twist it into something bad. And why wouldn't they? The Bible states in Romans 1 that God has given mankind over to sinful desires of their hearts. We are also told in 1 Corinthians 2:14 that "the man without the spirit does not accept the things that come from the spirit of God, because they are foolishness to him and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned."
On Sunday, Pastor Tony preached on a message called the Right Stuff (download it here). It was about suffering for Being a Christian (1 Peter 4:12-19). While he spoke of how we are in God's program as sanctification, he said that we should not be shocked by trials because they have been sent to test you and are common to all believers. While he spoke, I tried to think of the last time I had suffered for Christs sake. I couldn't think of any time that I had been demoted, beaten, cursed, ridiculed or anything due to being a Christian. My lifestyle, though Christ honoring (I hope), doesn't seem to be seen by or noticed negatively by the world around me. I wondered if maybe I am too sheltered or not open enough about my faith in Jesus.
Pastor Tony mentioned that we are to rejoice in suffering because those wounds will identify us with Christ and to know our identity and be able to fellowship with God like nothing else will. Verse 14 seems to be a good verse to sum up this experience: "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the spirit of Glory and of God rests on you."
Now the people on that website weren't insulting me directly because of Christ. But they were insulting both me and Anna because of how we have lived out our faith and calling into question our morals. Our lives don't exactly line up with what the world considers good and normal.
As it says in 1 Peter 4:19, we will commit ourselves to our faithful Creator and continue to do good. Maybe someone will come to this site and without knowing it be convicted by the Holy Spirit through something they read here. Maybe this only happened so that I would get a tiny taste of what it's like to be insulted and to help me to in a small way identify better with Christ.