Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” is probably loved by as many people who hate it, no pun intended. Though it’s not one of my favorites, I applaud Taylor for writing a song that rejoices in deflecting negativity. When it comes to trolls on the internet, it’s much harder to “shake it off” than it is to sing.
“THIS IS GARBAGE. I’M SORRY!”
Bumping into trolls online now seems like a part of our modern day life. Everyone has an opinion, and they feel is too important not to share.
Being a singer/songwriter with a small public platform, I get mean comments about my music, what I wear, and how I act. I usually deal with these comments by having a good cry and being done with it. They are painful of course but worse are comments that attack my skill. One particularly biting comment was posted under one of my youtube videos a few years ago. It sticks out in my mind because it was one of the only times I ever responded;
“This is garbage. I’m sorry…It is truly sad that we’ve to have all these unskilled musicians working the skilled out of work. -JB”
HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH
My response to “JB” was one of the only times I felt peace responding to a troll because I saw an opportunity to shed light on a misunderstood topic. The rest of the time, even when it hurts the most, I’ve felt led to remain silent.
Isaiah 53:7 famously says, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.”
Jesus had enemies, haters, and cruel comments flag at him. It comforts me to know that he understands our pain. Because he condescended and took on human form, these experiences hurt him as much as they hurt us, and more. Yet no matter how painful it was, most of the time he remained silent. He knew his mission on earth wasn’t to put haters in their place, but to save lost souls. Dedication to his mission outweighed the negativity of the opposition he faced, and he didn’t want to waste his time quelling hate when he could spend it healing the sick.
We can learn so much from this example.
What is your mission on earth? If you figure this out, you will be more equipped to deflect hardship, opposition, or even “haters.” Narrowing in our singular focus to what God has called us to will fix our eyes on the things that truly matter.