How to Handle Internet Trolls as a Christian Influencer
So you believe that God is calling you to spread the Gospel and you have decided to answer the call without hesitation. It’s going well and out of nowhere, you get a message from “xxxSpaceMon24” with no profile picture, calling you everything but a child of God in your comment section. Now what?
We have witnessed many believers fall short of the Glory of God when taking on internet trolls and difficult people in general. But, it’s important to remember that you are a reflection of the God you serve. Today, we are going to discuss How to Handle Internet Trolls as a Christian.
What is an “Internet Troll” and Why do they matter?
An Internet Troll is someone who purposely starts drama online by arguing with people and posting insensitive, offensive, comments in order to gain an negative emotional reaction from anyone who will fall victim to their schemes. Trolls usually do not care about your response to their attempts to disrupt your peace; they only care about causing damage. Sound familiar?
As a believer in Christ trying to spread the Gospel, it is important to bear in mind that it’s not going to be easy bombarding the camps of the enemy to save as many souls, and direct them back to Christ. It won’t be easy, but you have AUTHORITY.
So when you come screen to screen with an Internet Troll it’s important to keep these three things in mind in order to protect your witness and lead by example by following these three steps.
How to Identify an Internet Troll
So you finally have branched out and started sharing scriptures on Twitter. It’s going great, now you have started to gain momentum when all of a sudden your Matthew 5:14-16 scripture comments have turned into a Trump rally full of obscene language and word curses, accusing you of being everything but a child of God. “De_mon86” is going to town in your comment section like a fox who just snuck into a sheep farm. Congratulations, you caught an Internet Troll.
Here’s what to look for:
NO FACE, NO TRACE.
These people are usually using profiles that either have no real profile picture, or have a profile picture of something super random or super old. Like kittens, a dog, or a field of wheat (internet Trolls loveeee using scenery as a profile picture). Very odd.
As you start to go down their timeline and you notice all of the posts are either shared content from another user, or random bunches of useless information. Internet Trolls love useless information.
LOUD AND WRONG.
Look for content that is openly offensive in nature. Anything meant to disrupt the peace of those who care in the world. Some internet Trolls can have Narcissistic, and/or Sadistic character traits.
Most of these Trolls are people who are not happy, are bored, or just don’t have a voice in real life, but use the internet as their way of escaping an already sad situation. While their venom is dangerous, it’s important to remember most of these people have gotten to this point because of pain. Anyone living oppressed, offended, and/or tormented has several different open doors for the enemy to use. These people are hurting and in pain, and just as the saying goes: “Hurt people, hurt people”
How to Respond to Internet Trolls
So now that you have identified that you have encountered an internet troll you’re probably frustrated and pretty upset. This is exactly what they intended to do and as long as you’re in your flesh they are succeeding.
Take a moment to take some deep breaths and remember John 10:10 “The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy…” Once you can take a step back and see this for what it is, an attack against you and your ministry to win souls, you can proceed with a clarity and without confusion or anger.
Pray for yourself, the other people who may have seen the comment, and for the person trolling you. Because again hurt people, hurt people. You want to make sure that you’re keeping yourself covered through praying and fasting, always. Spreading the Gospel in any capacity will be dangerous. However, Jesus makes it very clear that we are to be encouraged!
Read John 16
Here you have a choice. You can either comment and set the boundary or you can delete the comment. This is left to your discretion. However, if you decide to respond it should not be with the intention of trying to change their mind or get them to understand that their comment hurt your feelings or was inappropriate.
They know, they do not care. Whichever choice you make in how to move forward let it be guided by the Holy Spirit. But, whatever you do, DO NOT respond in anger, or match evil for evil. If you have been under attack all day, and have reached your limit with people, places, and things sent to destroy your peace… LOG-OFF! This is not the time to “show” anyone that they got you twisted… Sis, Bro, Auntie, Unc, Cousin… just log-off.
Internet Trolls do NOT care about how you feel. Their only interest is in upsetting, disrupting, and/or ruining your day. Most Trolls are hurting and lashing out at anyone who will take it. Pray for them and move on.
Learn the difference between who should have access to your humanity, who should have access to who you have become in Christ, and who should have access to both. Regardless of how authentic the Tik-Tokers, and Social Media Influencers claim to be, no one should have 100% all access to ALL of you online. That’s another blog post for another time…
BE ENCOURAGED! Even Jesus said that this would be hard, but it’s worth it. We are in this together and are praying for you!
If this was helpful to you in any way, let us know in the comments! We love feedback and are constantly growing in our walk with Christ. Don’t forget to share this with your friends who may need it.
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