Haters Gonna Hate

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If you are making an impact on people’s lives, you will . . . (not might) . . . attract haters.

So if you don’t want any haters in your life, don’t speak, don’t write, don’t blog, don’t podcast . . . oh, and don’t breathe.

Haters are either fueled by jealousy, low self-esteem (which is trying to assert itself), or an inflated-ego (which has been bruised somehow and elicits bluster).

Every once in a while I’ll get a flaming email from a hater.

A few weeks ago, a man wrote me an email which included baseless accusations against a co-author of one of my books.

Of course, the man making the accusations doesn’t know the person they were accusing. They just read some slanderous smackdown on the Web which painted my co-author to be a combination of Freddie Krueger, David Koresh, and a certified warlock. And to this benighted soul’s shame, he naively swallowed it hook, link, and sinker. (Or hook, line, and sinker, if you prefer.)

(This man clearly never read one of my landmark posts, “Don’t Believe Everything You Hear or Read.”)

Anyway, my assistant sent him an indisputable refutation of the slanderous accusations against my co-author that shredded them into confetti. Aware of the claptrap, my co-author and friend refuted every accusation point-by-point years ago. So the false accusations that this man came across on the Web were not only old and outdated, but they had been discounted long ago.

Now get ready to be shocked. Even after reading the refutation proving that the allegations were untrue, here was this man’s response.

“I am very aware of their deception. [Name of my co-author] is a wolf in sheep clothing and I have no other reason to believe that either you and Frank Viola are naive or of the same stripe as [name of my co-author].”

Really?

In other words, “don’t confuse me with the facts. I’m going to hate Viola’s co-author — a man I do not know and have never spoken to. I don’t have the intellectual honesty and integrity to try to speak to or listen to him with an open mind and heart just as I would want if it were me who were being falsely accused, and nothing will convince me otherwise.”

As someone who believes the Bible and the words of Jesus in Matthew 7 and Matthew 23, I fear for this man. He has no idea of the gravity of the sin he’s chosen to embrace and walk in.

The fact that human beings who profess to follow Jesus can behave in such sub-human ways staggers me.

So what’s my point?

Haters are gonna hate.

Period.

And if you are successful, they are going to emerge on your radar screen (or your inbox).

What can you do about it?

1. Ignore them.

2. If they start spewing their hatred and lies on your blog or social media pages, ban them.

3. if they are on your email list, remove them.

And then forgettttabbbbouuttit (yes, that’s one word).

Don’t give them another second’s thought. And never respond in kind. (If you’re a Jesus follower, you may want to send a prayer their way and place them squarely in God’s hands.)

Do not allow them to drain any emotional energy from you. Because these people are designed to distract and discourage you from your mission. And for every hater, there are 50 – 100 people who love and appreciate you.

Now, someone may say, “but what about critics who should be heard?”

Haters are befuddled abusers and they are NOT the same as people with integrity who provide constructive criticism based on truth and accuracy. Not even close.

Go read my post “3 Kinds of Critics and How to Respond to Them” for my thoughts on that specific topic.

This post isn’t complete without that other one. They work together.

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Frank Viola
FRANK VIOLA has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. His mission is to help serious followers of Jesus know their Lord more deeply, gain fresh perspectives on old or ignored subjects, and make the Bible come alive. Viola has written many books on these themes, including God's Favorite Place on Earth and From Eternity to Here. His blog, Beyond Evangelical, is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today.

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