Hey, friends! So lately I have found myself at odds on social media. My books deal with the topic of undocumented immigrants and about loving your neighbors, regardless of their status. I truly feel like through my books, God wants me to both challenge other white Christians’ negative stereotypes against immigrants and help them recognize that they too, are made in God’s image, and should be loved as anyone else, and I want to represent people of color as being the strong, amazing people they are and accurately depict their struggles and joys.
For this reason, I often share and comment on posts that deal with this subject, which, as you can imagine, have been numerous these days.
I feel so many emotions flow through me as I read posts and responses from friends and family and acquaintances: anger, disbelief, sadness, desperation, hurt, even helpless at times. To see the anger, the hate, pouring from the screen as they speak of my brothers and sisters in Christ, my husband and his family, my son, my friends, it is exhausting.
I’m not going to give up on writing my books, because I have prayed about it and God keeps giving me ideas. But, part of me wonders if it will make a difference, if people are too far gone…if hate has taken them over so deeply that they will be unable to recognize it in themselves and stop it in its path before its too late.
So, pardon my sad ramblings, but has anyone else ever felt this way while writing diverse Christian fiction or being a POC or just in general? And if so, how do you deal with the haters and take care of yourself?
Please let me know below!
4 thoughts on “Open Discussion: Dealing with Haters”
In a way, I don’t really make it my business to deal with “haters,” so to speak.
I may be concerned about people’s mindsets and attitudes, I might get angry now and then, and I may even feel sad for folks, ’cause hate (or what looks like hate) is oftentimes a cover-up for some kind of fear. Lots of people who are hateful are actually scared or insecure, whether they know it or not, and, yeah, that’s sad.
At the end of the day, though, I don’t have control over other people’s beliefs, opinions, or feelings. No person can force another person into a change of heart. If I get so caught up or bogged down in other people’s negativity, I won’t have the strength to do my job.
It isn’t my job to struggle to change how someone else feels or thinks. My job is to share my heart, to speak the truth in love, and those who have ears to hear will hear it. (Sometimes, even when people don’t seem like they’re listening, they hear more than we think they do, or even more than they themselves know they heard. The words come back to the forefront of their memory at a more opportune time.)
And for those who don’t or won’t hear–well, you have to learn to shake the dust off your feet and move on. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good. That’s proactive, and you’ll wind up acting according to what you think about.
So for me, instead of letting evil or “haters” be my focus, I’ve got to focus on what’s true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, excellent, and praiseworthy. I’ve got to think on these things if I want to keep doing these things.
Even when I do feel grieved or angry, I can combine those ingredients along with the others that go into making me a better writer, a better person. Toss the feelings in the pot, and let them add some flavor to my next piece of writing. Take what’s negative and make it good, since good is my focus. ❤
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Thank you. I think I do need to focus on putting the love out there. Hugs!
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I’m a reader…and also a librarian so I like all things books and remember reading a study out of Yale, I believe, where they studied the effects of reading fiction on readers — adults included. One of their findings was that fiction readers developed more empathy because the brain actually processes the experiences of fictional characters as if they happened to the reader. I often think of that as I look at the books I read as a kid. I came from a very dysfunctional, immigrant home and was pretty much left to raise myself. I discovered the library at a very young age and it became my haven. I like to think that books raised me and this study kind of proves it. I have heaps of ‘memories’ that aren’t mine but have impacted me powerfully. I knew what a ‘real’ family looked like because I met them in fiction. As I met different nationalities and people of colour, their lives also became imprinted on me. i am grateful to those authors for shaping me just as I am grateful to the authors I read today. All this to say that your books make a difference. They have the capacity to impact a reader’s view in powerful ways you may never understand.
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Kav, I have never heard of that study but as a counselor (and a reader), I can totally see how that makes sense. It also explains some shifts in readers’ views after finishing my book. Thank you for reminding me of this and sharing this study. I shall remember that God has called me to write…not to Facebook. 🙂
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