Haters Gonna Hate
Yes, I just quoted Taylor Swift (I have two teenage daughters, you know!) And while I don’t agree with a lot of T-Swift’s life philosophies, I am in full agreement that, with haters, we need to just “shake it off.”
I am thinking about haters right now because I just deleted a venomous Facebook comment directed at some spectacular kids. It was nasty and rude and designed to not just bully, but to eviscerate.
I am also thinking about haters because, as a teacher and a writer, I have been – and am – the target of some pretty rotten opinions and, sometimes, even outright lies.
So what do you do when you’re on the “hated” side? Just how, exactly, do you “shake it off?”
Know Who Defines Your Worth
The Bible tells us we are fearfully and wonderfully made by a Creator whose love is so deep and so wide that nothing can separate us from Him. A God who sent His Son to earth to provide a means of salvation so we can spend eternity with Him. You are special, not because of who you are or what you can/cannot do, but because of WHOSE you are. We are sons and daughters of the King! Rest in that truth, my friends. Do not let anyone but the God who loved and made you define who you are.
Do What’s Right, No Matter What
Some of the worst hate is directed at us because we are doing what’s right. Jesus experienced just that, and he told us to expect the same. I have readers who hate my books because of the amount of Jesus that’s in them. I have students who hate me as a teacher because of the amount of work I require. I could write different kinds of books, I could show movies and hand out A’s just for attendance – but if I did those things, I would not be doing what God called me to do as a writer and a teacher. And obeying God’s calling is far more important than being liked.
Haters are Often Hurt
The nastiest people are often deeply wounded themselves and so feel the need to wound others. They have been mistreated, abused, ridiculed, neglected…and they respond by building a wall around themselves to prevent further injuries. They lob their missiles from behind that wall, hoping to injure others because, as the saying goes, “misery loves company.” The last thing we need to do is retaliate. We can pray for those who persecute us. We can show them love and kindness, and we can share the grace that has been given to us by God. That is not easy – in fact, I think it’s the hardest act God asks of us. But, through His power, we CAN love the unlovable.
So if you are dealing with some hate right now, know you are not alone. Let’s “shake it off” together.