The ‘Shrink has been blogging about Trolls recently: The Psychology of Trolls and The Trolls in All of Our Lives…and he got me thinking, and it made me realize that there were trolls in Biblical times as well. A “troll” is slang for someone that comes around (on the ‘net it is usually on message boards, or the comments section of blogs), and says things to stir people up, and tries to cause an emotional reaction. Many times it is in the form of an attack, and can be a set up.
Think about it. Jesus hardly ever preached to the people when there weren’t a few trolls around. He’d be out for a stroll or going to heal someone on the Sabbath and the trolls would pounce. I believe His reactions and His teachings can help us out with the trolls in our own lives, and help us to remember that if we encounter trolls; He encountered them first. If you discuss religious issues online from any angle, there will be trolls of different backgrounds to deal with.
Let’s just take one example; Jesus’ encounter with the trolls and the adulterous woman:
John 8:1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
I love the Lord, and His reactions. Notice He was minding His own business (literally) and was setting there talking to the people, when the trolls show up. They didn’t care what Jesus had to say, it was all a set up over an emotional issue, that in this case, could have very dire results for several people involved. Notice what The Lord does; He ignores them. That’s their chance to get the hint and take a hike…but did they catch on? No. Did they just hang around? No. Read it; they kept askin’ and askin’. I love it; He actually stands up and faces them (I can imagine the look on His face), and completely turns the tables on them, teaching us all a valuable lesson. Yes, if one person can show us how to handle a troll, or a group of trolls perfectly, it’s Him. After they finally take a hike, morphing from troll to human even in their own eyes, He goes on to deal with the very human woman left standing before Him.