“How Do You Handle the Nasty E-mails and Criticisms? I Get MAD!”

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Dear Ms Bohlin,

A Godly day to you. After reading the nasty things that are e mailed to you regarding several and various topics at your site, I find it very interesting how you handle the nasty criticisms. Which brings me to the question, how do you handle the nasty and very angry criticisms? Do you get tipped off by them at all? I’m very interested because as I have seen from your answers, you seem to be handling them well. I wish to emulate from you. I always have a hard time handling situations like these. Whenever I share spiritual truths to some people they are very critical about what I say and I always get tipped off. It is as if I feel like I’m wasting my pearls to swine when people react the way some of your readers do and this kinda discourages me. I feel like what I’m telling them is important (considering the eternity they’ll probably end up if they don’t hear what the Bible has to say) but they simply are stubborn to have any of it. I’m not very good at handling my anger and I have no qualms about showing it. Is rage in some way connected to my practice of the occult from my past? I have read your response to the 17 year old person who had a brush with death (“Did I Encounter a Demon?”) and this made me think of my former practice and its relation to my reactions.

Thank you for your very sweet and kind comments concerning my e-mail responses. What you DON’T see is the time I let elapse between the time I first read the nasty e-mails, and when I answered them. I never fire off a response immediately because it would be too easy for it to come from my flesh instead of God’s Spirit. Sometimes I feel angry and defensive, but I’ve learned to release those reactions into the Lord’s hands and invite Him into the situation.

And then other times, I recognize what I think are the underlying motivations of people’s venting. Often there’s been hurt, always there is some deception of the enemy. They don’t know that they are just pawns of the enemy, and I feel sorry for them. I’ve been involved in ministry for a long time, including some lay counseling training, so I see things a little differently.

Concerning your rage and anger, I would say that those are secondary emotions, and SOMETHING is fueling them. Anger doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Usually it is the result of fear or pain or both. Although, if you have a history of occult involvement, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of demonic “button-pushing.” Have you gone through any process of renouncing your occultic practices (Rom. 13:12) so you shut any doors to the enemy into your spirit? Neil Anderson’s book The Bondage Breaker has a powerful chapter called “Steps to Freedom in Christ” that walks you through a list of possible open doors to the enemy that you can close as you renounce them. I would strongly suggest that for you.

However, if you have an ongoing problem with anger, particularly angry words, know that the Lord Jesus said that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Angry words come from an angry heart. Not that it’s a sin to be angry, but it sounds like you need to look at what’s making you angry and deal with it through forgiveness, if someone has hurt you. Or readjusting your belief system–such as developing realistic expectations of life, of God, of other people, of yourself.

I understand your anger when people don’t appreciate the spiritual truth you share with them. Let me try and reframe what’s happening to hopefully help you react more wisely. You have the truth, they need the truth. HOWEVER, if they are spiritually blind (think cataracts), they cannot see their need for the truth OR the truth itself. First God has to do a work in their hearts before they can receive it. Or, you are offering the Living Water, but their cups are upside down. If you pour out Living Water into an upside-down cup, it doesn’t benefit them at all. . . it just makes a mess. That’s why you can offer spiritual truth, but if God hasn’t prepared their hearts to receive it, they won’t–they CAN’T get it. After all, it takes a miracle for a dead person to make the CHOICE to be born again, and it takes a miracle for spiritually deaf and blind people to hear and see truth. So instead of getting angry when they don’t receive what you’re offering, just let it go and tell yourself, “How sad that they’re not ready to receive. Lord, do a work in this person’s heart to open their eyes and heart.”

I love your passion in seeing sacred things trampled underfoot. That is a love of justice and goodness speaking. However, please remember that when the Lord Jesus was being crucified, He kept saying over and over (that continual action is in the Greek, but it doesn’t show up in the English), “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” People don’t know what they’re doing. They can only see what the world tells them is real, what their feelings tell them is real. They are deceived and ignorant, and God extends grace to them.

Keep on serving the Master by continually submitting yourself into His hands. One very specific way to do that is to ask him, “Lord Jesus, what is my anger about? What do You want to show me about that? What do you want me to DO?” and then listen over a period of time for Him to answer. He loves it when His people ask that kind of heart question.

In His grip,

Sue Bohlin
Probe Ministries

Sue Bohlin

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 40 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. In addition to being a professional calligrapher, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

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Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

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