Plagiarized, the continuation

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Last week I wrote the article “Plagiarized” as a reflection on how the Lord dealt with my heart when part of my blog were copied and pasted onto another blogger’s site. In that entry I expressed how I was frustrated and hurt but God reminded me that this site belongs to him. I was convicted not to publicly defame the person who was plagiarizing TeachwithJoy content and let the issue rest. If God wanted to convict the person then he would.

The next day, I received an email from someone who admitted that she was the person who had copied and pasted content from my blog. This was a surprise! Even more unprecedented was her humility and apology. She talked about how convicted she was, so much so that she decided to take down her site. She followed through with this promise. When I checked her site again, it was gone.

When she emailed me, I responded to her with this message…

Hi ___________, of course I forgive you. Why don’t you start a new blog if you really want to write? But be honest about what you put there, your own life lessons and stories. If you really want to be a blessing to people, then a blog is a good way to do it. You know what helps me? I ask God to give me daily inspiration to write and he is the one who gives me insights about his word, about life. I want to thank you for apologizing. It means a lot.

Can I ask you something? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Do you know that he loves you and has a plan for your life? Whatever mistakes you have made (including this one), he will forgive because he died on the cross for you, for me, for all of us.

When I was a little girl, I knew Jesus but I didn’t have a relationship with him. I would steal pencils, erasers, candy, etc from my classmates. (this was before I was homeschooled). And I even told a huge lie about our house being like a zoo so I could never invite my friends over. Well one day my dad was having a bible study with us and I started to cry. I was nine years old. I told him I didn’t know if I was going to heaven or hell and I was afraid to die. He took me aside and shared with me what it means to trust in Jesus, to make him the Lord and Savior of my life. I prayed for him to come in to my life, to forgive my sins, and I asked him to be my Lord and Savior. When I did, my life changed. I had peace knowing I was forgiven, knowing that someday I would go to heaven when I die.

I don’t think it is an accident that our lives intersected, ________. I really believe that God allowed us to so I could tell you that you are loved by him, that he wants to have a personal relationship with you.

God is a redeemer. He takes what is broken in us and he heals it. I don’t know what you have been through in life but whatever it is, God gives each one of us a new beginning. The Bible says that he gives us a new start in Jesus.

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB)

I invite you to say the same prayer that I did when I was a young girl. Ask Jesus to forgive you for your sins and to come into your life as Savior and Lord. Then your real journey in the faith and as a writer with a voice to glorify God will begin.

God bless you, ____________.

After I sent this message, she wrote back again, giving me insight into her past. She shared that she had been through a lot of heartache and somehow the content in my blog allowed her to mask this. I better understood where she was coming from when she revealed this to me. My heart went out to her.

I wanted to give an update on what happened between us because this is obviously the work of the Lord. When I wrote the prequel to this, I had no idea what God was going to do. I believed that he was in control and he allowed the plagiarism to happen. I also listened to his prodding to refrain from lambasting and slandering this woman in public by putting her name and site on my blog. I’m so glad he stopped me from giving in to my irritation!

This was one of those moments in life when I could have missed out on the opportunity to tell someone about Jesus. If I had given in to selfishness I would never have been able to tell her, “God loves you and has a plan for your life.” I would’ve sounded like a total hypocrite.

Furthermore, since she has emotional wounds that only God can repair, I was also reminded not to judge people. Luke 6:37 says, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned;pardon, and you will be pardoned.”

Everyone has experiences that influence and affect the way they act and behave in the present. I’m not saying that a person’s past justifies their sin. But judging their motivations is God’s department. My role is to love people as Christ has loved me, to forgive as God has forgiven me, to be a dispenser of grace, as I have generously received grace.

I must remember that I represent the interests of God. He wants all people to know him personally and experience his love and forgiveness, even people who may hurt or offend me. If I choose to partner with him to communicate this instead of retaliating or fighting back for self-centered reasons then I have the privilege of witnessing him turn unpleasant experiences into amazing stories of grace.

I believe God purposed for me and this blogger to encounter one another so that I would have the opportunity to tell her about Him.

As 2 Corinthians 5 puts it, God has given us the ministry of reconciliation — to reconcile people to himself. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

Comments

  1. Loved this ü

  2. I haven’t seen your post on that. I have a lot of reading to do here! Haha. Will you be at the Oct. 5 NXTGen GA, Joy? If yes, see you there. If not, see you around 🙂 And praise God for the girl’s realization. May this lesson also be a reminder to everyone. A lot of people forget or compromise on properly giving recognition to where they got the information/messages they put online, through texts, or in paper. May proper and humble acknowledgments be given to those who they got it from as it is also a blessing 🙂

  3. Deonna Santos says:

    Hi joy! I am so blessed by your response 🙂 Indeed, God’s ways are higher than our own. This story taught me that there is always a higher road to take when we are offended. That we can take bad situations like this and choose to glorify God so that his work (and love) can be completed.

    Thank you for your faithfulness and for sharing all your stories. They are always a blessing!

  4. God can and does turn things around to God be the glory!

  5. Hi Joy! Thanks for sharing this…at first i thought I was the one you were referring to hahaha! Kidding! You are the one who inspired me to take my blogging seriously

  6. Hi Joy! Thanks for sharing this…at first i was the one you were referring to hahaha kidding! You’re the one who inspired me to take my blogging seriously.

  7. Don’t know what’s happening to my comments … Anyway, I said, continue to be an inspiration to bloggers like me and to others as well as you live the life God purposed for you and your family ! Blessings Joy!

  8. Hi Joy! It’s amazing how God is closely working in our lives – how He taught you how to respond so that another person can know more about Jesus. 🙂 I really admire the way you handled this situation. By God’s grace, I am also learning to do the same, to be dead to myself so that Christ can shine in my life. I recently had a little trial that tempted me to be prideful and self righteous. But reading your blog, and also by reading the Bible, i was convicted to humble myself and forgive. It is amazing how God speaks to us when we seek Him. I had all these insights that just popped in my head on how to respond to my situation which i wrote down so I wont forget hehe. I am still thinking if i should write a blog too, just so i wont forget the good things that God has done in my life :p Your blog is really a blessing to many of us 🙂 Thanks and God bless you always! 🙂

  9. Ellen Valencia says:

    God is so amazing! He is working mightily in your life, Joy! You are touching so many lives…your blogs are so powerful because God is the one who really gives you the wisdom to write about them, and your response in this particular situation just goes to show how He used you in the most unexpected circumstance. Indeed He works together everything for good to those who love Him.

  10. I have been meditating on Luke 6:37 in the last few days. I read through Luke and it really caught my attention. I was reading it from my digital bible in my android and looked it up again in my hardcopy bible just to be sure. I highlighted and wrote it down in my notes. Imagine my surprise when on a whim I looked at your blog and again this verse is here. I’ve had a few people judge me in the past few days and I know I’ve also judged a few in the past. I think the Lord wants me to remember this and take heed. God really talks in lots of ways – using people and things like your blog. His voice is unmistakeable because the prodding of the Holy Spirit is consistent. Thank you for this!

  11. Your blog is really a blessing! God’s way of reaching others. 🙂

  12. wow! God is so amazing!

  13. Virginia Eriful Sigley says:

    Dear Joy,
    I don’t know if you still remember me. I’ve known you since you were born. I was your kuya Peter’s yaya and Evelyn Floresca Armstrong was your yaya. Your parents had the biggest influenced on my spiritual growth. I was part of your household for 6 years. I had the privilege of watching you and your brothers Peter and Paul while working as a maid at your household. That was the best 6 years of my life. As I grew spiritually with your parents love and care, I learned to love them especially you and your brothers. Your parents paid my 3 and half years college. I had to leave to go home to my hometown after I graduated. That was the hardest decision I made because I knew I will not see you and your family for a long time. Half of my heart I left with you guys when I left and hopes that my connection with you all will never be severed with our separation. I’ve got a science and math teaching position in my hometown. Six months I left your household, I’ve received the greatest treasure which I still have in my possession, letters from you and Peter and Paul’s signature on your letters. I don’t know how many times I reread those letters. Anyway, years of separations by God’s grace, did not hinder us to reconnect again. Praise God! Thank you so much for your inspiring blog. I truly enjoy reading your testimony. What beautiful godly woman you have become. God bless you and your lovely family.
    Your humble servant,
    Virgie

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