Why I am Grateful My Website was Hacked

In life, we have choices – more than we often realize.

Unexpected circumstances and situations we don’t create will always factor in – natural disaster, government takeovers, terrorism, death, disease, and all manner of hardship specific to life on this side of glory.

Much of life is beyond our control – including the choices of other people we love – but we still have more choices than we like to admit.

We decide how we will respond to our circumstances. We decide how we will react to the choices and actions of loved ones. We determine if we will set our intellectual and emotional dashboards to focus on God’s truth and unchanging nature or to keep the giants plaguing us ever in view.

These choices make all the difference.

As I speak with individuals and churches about the art of hard conversations, there is universal agreement on two things – the conversations being avoided or delayed are in line with the work of God’s kingdom and engaging in them will be painful and uncomfortable on some level.

Fear of this discomfort and the unpredictability of others’ responses is apparently enough to keep Jesus-loving, Bible-believing, strong-hearted Christians silent when the Holy Spirit is clearly prompting us to speak.

To this I respond, loved ones, we choose our pain.

On this side of glory, there is no escape from discomfort, hardship, or suffering. The Fall took care of that. Oh, sure, some find effective ways to numb or dull the pain but even people in the best of situations will face letdowns and difficulties.

When Jesus-followers choose to remain silent when there are important truths to be spoken, we are choosing the pain and consequences that come with disobedience and inaction.

I know we feel it because so many people hear the title of my message and say, “Oh, we desperately need that.” But we’re familiar with the pain of inaction. We’ve grown accustomed to the discomfort of disobedience. We have a gnawing sense that we would be more effective for Jesus if we made another choice, but still, we’re comfortable with this particular discomfort.

Here’s the problem, we’re not just making a choice about our own suffering. When we withhold truth, avoid truth, and dodge biblically-mandated conversations, we participate in suppressing truth in a world flooded with deception. The collective impact is that those who don’t know Jesus remain blind to eternal truth.

It is a form of suffering to prayerfully prepare for and engage in hard conversations – whether they involve sharing the gospel, confronting sin, talking about spiritual growth, comforting the sick, depressed, or dying, discussing the Bible’s teaching on a controversial topic, or letting someone know how valued they are.

It’s true these conversations can be wildly uncomfortable, lead to further hard conversations, and upset the status quo in relationships and the community. No matter how equipped we are and grounded in love, we don’t ever control the response of the others in our conversations, so there’s a great unpredictability factor, too. Yes, choosing to speak truth that God prompts to be spoken can create a form of suffering.

But, here’s our choice: Choose the potential, unpredictable suffering that comes from speaking truth in love in the name of Christ or choose the certain suffering of forever wondering what freedom and light might be being withheld from individuals and communities because we remain silent.

This week, as many of you know, I learned that my website was hacked. The technician for my website host surveyed the issue and responded, “Wow, you must have an enemy. This hack was sophisticated and time-consuming.” He and my web designer worked together to make the technical response and I painstakingly visited as many of the posts as we could identify and re-edited them (the hackers had rewritten posts to appear as if I was promoting perverse practices of all kinds).

Here’s the thing: the hacker targeted posts in which I discussed the biblical teaching on sex and sexuality.

This topic isn’t a primary theme of my website or teaching but I do speak up about it when the Spirit prompts. So, there was a moment in the midst of surveying the damage and weighing the consequences of speaking truth, that I was tempted to simply trash all those posts and never write on that topic again. I tried justifying it in that other Christians write about it and my following is small, surely, my voice would never be missed.

That’s when God reminded me that I choose my pain. I could live with the pain of knowing I’d chosen cowardice when my Father is the King of all the Universe and He has freed me to live without fear or I could retain the posts and willingly add more (as the Spirit moves), risking the pain of incurring further attention from – not my enemy – but His.

Key to making my choice was remembering who I am in Christ. I am His. Yes, there’s suffering that comes with following in the way He goes, but He supplies grace sufficient for that pain. The posts remain, and in His power, I will not be silent.

This incident cost me embarrassment, time, and money. There are brothers and sisters around the globe whose suffering is on a scale that makes my website hack look like a trip to Disney. The cost of speaking truth in those countries is devastating. Why are we, then, choosing the pain of allowing others to remain in darkness to protect ourselves from the pain of speaking up?

In truth, I owe a debt of gratitude to my hacker (for whom I pray). Thank you for reminding me that God’s truth makes an impact even when written by a Christian blogger of little consequence. You’ve strengthened my heart to carry on and represent God’s love by speaking truth into a world of deception.

What choice will you make today?

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17 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Jan says:

    Thank you for helping me to be a better Christian, Lori! How you process and handle life’s curve balls is an inspiration.

  2. Carla says:

    Amen! You are a great writer and honest about what truly being a Christ follower is. SO of course you will have enemies. So, that proves that satan isn’t happy about your witness. Keep going!

  3. Julie Coleman says:

    Good for you, Lori. Glad to see your response to such evil is to determine to remain faithful to your calling. And your following is no small thing! God is carrying your teaching to who needs it the most. Your thoughtful posts are inspiring. Keep up the excellent work!!

  4. Marilyn Gasior says:

    Also praying for your hacker. Love your email.
    See you in church.

  5. Tammy Breeding says:

    Inspiring how you can take a situation like this and turn it into a renewed call for staying in the fight. Thank you.

  6. Marcia Moston says:

    Perfect response, Rhode Island warrior woman.

  7. Karen Smith says:

    Thanks Lori, for sharing this great lesson in responding to circumstances (or other’s choices) and how we respond, crucial to also communicating truth. Grateful for our power source.

  8. Jerry Crawford says:

    Somebody had to have come under conviction, which is a precursor to repentance. Good job. 🙂

  9. Jim Klock says:

    Thanks for your courage, Lori, to speak the truth in love. Keep it up!

  10. Gloria Delk says:

    This message so timely was sent to me by my sister. It is just what I needed and I thank you for it! God bless you and your writing!:)

  11. Kathy says:

    Thanks for being a godly, courageous model to me.

  12. Lori Ann Hatcher says:

    Well said, friend. It is so tempting to hold back, soft-peddle, or avoid altogether the hard conversations that the world finds unpopular. We seldom draw fire when we cowering in a fox hole. But we can’t push back the enemy unless we take a stand. I’m praying for you today and every day, that God will surround you with his protection and use you for his glory. Write on!

  13. d says:

    THANK YOU!! Romans 8:31~39

  14. Joann says:

    What this tells me is that your impact for Christ was huge. Our enemy is after anyone hurting his credibility and winning another round for Christ.

  15. Nancy Sullivan says:

    Your writing speaks of your resolve and passion for sharing truth, and God has equipped you to do so in a wonderfully straight forward way. No wonder the enemy comes at you. We’re with you and support you. Keep writing. God’s got your back 🙂

  16. Deb Dufek says:

    I will definitely be praying for you! I’m sorry you had to go through this but I agree that this hacking shows you’re making a difference in a darkened world where sin abounds! I’m grateful for your courage to press onward for truth!! I look forward to meeting you at reNew in only a few days!

  17. Kathy Burns says:

    Bravo!