Pop Culture refers to people who are seeking to have a negative impact on your life, gift and talents as “haters.” Jesus called them enemies.
What can we learn from Jesus’ example about how to treat modern-day haters, particularly in regards to Social Media behavior?
1. Acknowledging their existence does not mean you need to prove yourself.
Jesus was well aware that he was hated and for a variety of reasons. In human form, he was still the Son of God and could have reminded them of his authority with each encounter. He chose not to. How often do we fall into the trap of trying to prove ourselves to those who couldn’t care less? There are people online who want nothing more than the attention a feud with you will generate. Don’t give them shine on your timeline.
2. Let them bring out the best in you.
When those who were preying upon while praying for one misstep from Jesus hung onto his every word, Jesus reacted by performing a miracle or teaching the Word of God. He kept the focus on bringing glory and honor to God’s name and while he used parables from time to time to illustrate what he was teaching, he was never subliminal in his message. When people attack your credibility online, “show ‘em what you’re workin’ with!” Just as with Jesus, they will bring unwanted attention to you. Turn that into a positive and showcase your talents to a new audience.
3. Respond with the energies of prayer.
I have not read one account in the Bible where Jesus approached his enemies to publicly declare that he was praying for them, yet I am sure he did. What kind of energy does a prayerful spirit give off? Surely not one that focuses on rehashing what your “haters” are doing. Note that Jesus’ haters followed him. He never followed them. Even when Jesus did address his haters, it was always to point out God’s word. The President of the Club of Haters himself approached Jesus during his fast. That’s what haters look for. An opening. A moment. That thing that will get under your skin in a time of weakness. Like Jesus, prayerfully respond with the Word of God and what he has commanded over your life.
4. Choose your inner circle wisely.
Jesus’ inner circle was comprised of 12 prayerfully selected individuals who all played a key role in his purpose towards the fulfillment of God’s plan for him. And even they followed him. He didn’t follow them.
5. Step away from the crowd.
Turn off the computer. Take a Social Media hiatus. Turn off the computer. Take a Social Media hiatus. Even Jesus intentionally spent time alone from everyone. Including the 12.