Spoiler alert. Karma.
Life offers surprises. Sometimes surprises are delivered through disappointments, sometimes they’re packaged in smiles.
I’ve learned how interactions lead to growth in some way. One interaction came from a reader who offered a stream of generous advice. He believed his online feedback would “develop my writing” (ahem). His feedback felt like a back bite. I was challenged to become defensive or dynamic.
Initially, I wanted to review his published works. I wanted to reciprocate (read: retaliate) my expertise with his unsolicited gesture so he could polish his literary craft. Interrupt. ESUBA.
Esuba. Abuse spelled backwards. I needed to bite my tongue. To save face, I remembered, hurting people hurt people. What had this reader experienced before he breathed metamorphic fire on me? This is simpler to write in hindsight.
1 Peter 3:9 says, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.” The verse doesn’t add, “unless Mr. Online Reviewer writes…” Scripture continues, “Repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called…” Ugh. That instruction applies to me.
I waited two days to respond to my voluntary consultant. I handwrote a short note thanking him for his time to write a generous list of what he considered growth opportunities. I offered to be a first reader for his future publications.
This interaction was initially a spoiler alert for me, but the plot twist came when he called to thank me. He reviewed his original email and acknowledged that he skimmed my story before lunch. Mr. Reviewer interpreted my tone differently than I intended. He explained that when he read my note, he saw a person underneath my handwritten words.
Esuba. Reverse the abuse. We used this surprise exchange as opportunity to bless each other in an unforeseen way.
Reviewing my motives with an online look,
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).