As I meditated about this weeks blog, I was led to discuss internet trolls. According to an online definition, an internet troll is a person who joins websites and social media threads, using fake names and photos; in order, to attack people about their race, religious beliefs, political party, lifestyle choices, favorite sports team, favorite charity, and the list goes on and on. For example, I was a part of a group on social media and a “troll” typed a disparaging remark about an elected official, and it became a battle of words in that thread. By the end of the conversation, the troll looked like the victim because he or she was murdered in print. They did not hold back and I was there to read every comment. I know! I was guilty by association. If I remember correctly, I thought something like, “Well, that’s what they get for jumping on someone else’s page.” It was a peaceful thread. Everyone was being uplifting… until the troll arrived. (I feel like I need some music.)
Well, as I reflected about that situation and other similiar situations, I was led to read Luke 6:43- 45NKJV. It reads: “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
So, why do I get the feeling that this verse has more to do with us than the troll? Well, let’s think about this for a moment. When someone speaks against your character or attacks your beliefs, what is your first thought? Whatever that is, it gives you an opportunity to see the treasure that is stored within you! In other words, it gives you an opportunity to see what is in your heart. It gives you an opportunity to see what God sees when he looks at you because the bible says that we look at the outward apppearance but God looks at the heart. The question is: what’s in our heart?
When curses flow out of our mouths, did the troll makes us say it or was it already in our hearts? When the troll uses a racial slur and our first instinct is to use one back, did the troll make us say it or was it already in our heart? When the troll makes a sexist statement, and we retaliate by belittling the whole opposite sex, did the troll make us do it or was it already in our heart?
Earlier I stated that I was a part of a social media group, and the atmosphere was peaceful until the troll came, but Jesus is the prince of peace. He is not shaken by the enemy.
As a believer in Christ Jesus, we have to thank God for the social media trolls because what is meant for evil God will always use for our good! Encountering a social media troll will give us an opportunity to see what is on the inside of us. If hatred and bitterness is inside of us, we have to get in the word of God because hatred and bitterness will have to flee. If stereotypes and biases are inside of us, we have to get in the word of God because he is our creator. As we continue to read his word, we will realize that he created us in his own image. When we get that deep down in our spirit, we can’t help but to change. So, the next time we encounter an internet troll and we feel our flesh rising to the occassion, we can thank God for the troll because this is another opportunity for the fruits of the spirit to be added to our treasure box. Curses will be replaced with scriptures, and bitterness will be replaced with an unconditional love. By the way, the word “curses” wasn’t a typo. Sometimes we focus on the obvious, which are curse words, but it’s deeper than that. Some of us know how to cut people down without ever using a curse word. You know what I mean? All of that will be replaced with scripture. You will start saying things like, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper.” “The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?” The Holy Spirit will remind you that we should not pay back wrong for wrong. We should bless those who curse us and pray for those who mistreat us.
And if you pride yourself on being the troll, I want to say, Thank you! Thank you for giving me an opportunity to learn a little more about the Father and his precious son Jesus. Thank you for giving the Holy Spirit an opportunity to convict me because it gives me an opportunity to deepen my relationship with the Father. You will not get the glory. All glory belongs to the Father, and I want you to know that He loves you so much! He knows that you’re hurting. He knows that you feel lost. He knows that you’re disappointed. He knows how angry you are, and he understands it all. Let him love on you. Let him heal you. Let him help you speak about situations that concern HIM in a way that is pleasing to HIM because it isn’t about us anyway, and let Him give you the wisdom to recognize when you are being used by Satan because he is the author of confusion. Just think about it. Then, go to the Father and pray about it.
#Soul Searching with Our Father#