Easily offended, nursing wounds, and reveling in victimhood

By Elizabeth Prata

I sometimes highlight examples of women in the Bible who were a positive influence in the faith. I mention a few of them below. Alternately, I highlight less than positive examples of some women either in the Bible or walking around today, as an example of what not to do or to be like.

There are some “Bible teachers” and female “leaders” in today’s times who I am of the opinion are actually harming the faith and throwing mud on the name of Jesus. I scan their output in every once in a while and read some stuff they’ve put out there lately, albeit hands over my eyes peeking through horror movie fashion.

I did that yesterday morning with Aimee Byrd. Formerly co-host along with Todd Pruitt and Carl Trueman of the Mortification of Spin podcast, author, blogger, sometimes Sunday guest preacher, Aimee has had a long public history in the faith. To the negative.

A couple of years ago, Aimee loudly left her long-term denomination, Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). Aimee is actually an ex-OPC mirror to ex-Southern Baptist Beth Moore, who also left her denomination loudly and badly. Both ladies left for what I personally see as the same reasons: refusal to submit to biblical gender roles.

Yesterday I read Aimee’s new essay “Messages of Shame”, where she publicly whined about decades-old comments she’d received, which she “put in the tomb with Jesus.” Her essay really only displayed the accuracy of those comments, some of which included her failure to listen, her pushiness, her unapproachability, and her resistance to correction.

I’m not great at accepting criticism or rebukes myself, so I understand the temptation to hold on to anger. But for her to be public with long-held resentment against people whose comments were probably off-hand or artless, failing to give grace or think the best of folks, shows an un-loving stance. It’s even worse when someone is looked upon as a leader or an influencer.

Her essay had no mention of Matthew 5:11, Proverbs 10:12, 1 Peter 4:8

“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (Matthew 5:11)

Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all transgressions
. (Proverbs 10:12)

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins. (1 Peter 4:8).

And this too:

For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. (James 2:13).

Writing 20 years later of men who caused her “wounds” or whose comments were “violent” (allegedly, as she interprets it) for example, writing of a man who giggled at her, is as petty as Beth Moore complaining that no one acknowledged her in an elevator.

Believing women who actually possess the Holy Spirit in us, are strong. Look at Abigail in a brutal marriage. Jesus’ mother Mary seeing her Son die so excruciatingly. Esther. These are the women to model one’s self after. Not these paper kittens like Moore and Byrd.

In her essay, Byrd ‘threw’ these “messages of shame” into the tomb of Jesus. Using the tomb of Jesus as her personal trash can to throw what she interpreted as “sins” of others against her, not even her own sins, (20 year old comments, giggles, compliments) is log-in-eye arrogant.

Unfounded attacks are hard to take. So are gossip, slander, and insults. Well-founded rebukes are even harder, because they would our pride even more if they are true.

By God’s providence my devotional this morning touched on this very subject. Favell Lee Mortimer said in his Devotional Commentary on the Gospels:

“It is in this spirit that irreligious people judge those whom they call “evangelicals and saints.” They accuse them of hypocrisy, and of pride; they watch their conduct with an eagle’s eye, and triumph over their infirmities with a demon’s joy. Such people have a beam in their own eye. This beam prevents them from seeing their own sins. We may be assured, that if we do not see ourselves to be very great and miserable sinners, there is a beam of unbelief in our eyes which prevents our seeing it. While we cannot see our own sins, we cannot see the sins of others aright. What we call sins in them, perhaps are not sins. We do not know how to reprove until we have discovered what sinners we ourselves are. But when God, by his converting grace, takes the beam out of our eyes, then we may help our brother to overcome his sins. Then we shall warn him in a spirit of humility and love, feeling our own unworthiness, and anxious for his good.”

Ladies, don’t be easily offended. Don’t nurse victimhood. Forgive and move on. We are called to do that. I know that some comments hurt. I know that criticism or rebukes are hard to take. But the primary reason we do, and with grace, is because Jesus took them ALL. No one in history was more reviled, insulted, rebuked, spat upon, ‘wounded’ with REAL violence than the sinless, perfect, beautiful, truthful Jesus. You need to remember that, I need to remember that. When we receive remarks we interpret as disdainful or insulting, our flesh might want to allow to build resentment around.

Yet love takes many forms:

Better is open rebuke
Than love that is concealed.

Faithful are the wounds of a friend,
But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.

Proverbs 27:5-6

Further reading

The End Time essay: Apostasy: We say goodbye to Aimee Byrd

RC Sproul recounts a time when malicious talk sent him into despondency. How Should Christians Respond to Attacks and Insults?

Sometimes when we THINK we have been attacked for doing good, when the opposite is really true. Tom Ascol for Ligonier: What Is Christian Persecution?

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