Not sure if these guys from the 2013 St. Patrick’s Day parade are actually trolls.

Over the past several years, as social media has grown in influence, we’ve become more aware of trolls. People who have nothing better to do than stop by various web sites and leave comments designed to instigate, infuriate and harm. They don’t create or say anything constructive. They just attack those who do.

I write that because I need to disclose an ongoing “trolling” issue that I’ve been dealing with. It’s been going on long enough that I can’t remember when it began.

When I was in Ithaca it happened around the area of Sunday messages. I’d get comments like:,

“Why are we talking about this again?”
“Everybody already knows that?”
“What is your point? And who cares?”
“Are you sure that’s even biblical?”
“People only come to this church because of their friends…they only tolerate you.”

It was exhausting. But as a person who has Responsibility as one of my top five strengths, I was driven to ensure that I had something ready for Sunday morning.

Where it hurt me was that as I was writing the message, the troll would be tearing it apart sentence by sentence. And so as each objection came up, I’d spend time effort and energy on it. I think it allowed me to deliver messages that were of a higher quality than they would have been otherwise. But, they also caused me to neglect other things I should have been doing instead. (For example if I had it to do over again, I’d spend at least half of the time I spent on message prep on discipling people.)

You might think now that I’ve moved to Ireland, my troll is no longer an issue. You’d be wrong. In fact, he’s often louder than before.

He still hates my blog.

“Why are you writing that? Who cares what you think?”
“It’s the internet. That has already been said thousands of times by people way smarter than you.”
“I thought your blog was about this…why are you writing about that?”

I won’t even get into the stuff he spews when I’m even thinking about working support raising. That sometimes gets bad enough where I just want to climb back under the covers and quit.

Some of you might wonder why I don’t use some kind of software to block this idiot?
The rest of you probably figured out that the problem is that this idiot lives in my head.

[Brief Sidebar]
(Don’t write this. Okay write it, but at least don’t post it. Do you know what people will think about you?)
I thought nobody reads my stupid blog any ways?
(They don’t….but still why risk it?)

Anyway. Not sure I can get him to stop talking so much. But I’m trying to listen a bit less.