Every once in a while I will deviate from my standard policy and read some comments on a YouTube video or other internet post.  I will never cease to be amazed at the willingness of complete strangers to weigh in with the most subjective criticisms imaginable.  I don’t know where the term “trolls” came from, but I like it.  It conveys the image of some semiliterate, untalented nobody lurking in his basement (which is to say, his mom’s basement), lobbing ill-conceived and ill-informed mortar fire at people who are actually doing something with their lives.

Maybe it’s American Idol’s fault.  Shows like that, in which the power to save or destroy is in the hands of regular people like us, gave us the idea that our opinions were actually worth something.  As it happens, opinions are much like vacation photos, half-eaten pastries and weird-looking moles: just because you have them doesn’t mean we want you to share.

Here’s an idea, trolls: go do something worth criticizing yourself.  Start a business.  Write a song.  Take up origami.  Be brave enough to do something that isn’t perfect.  Then stand up on stage in front of strangers with a target on your chest and brace for impact.

Think about this the next time the lunch table conversation turns to the latest example of mediocrity from the local preacher, or the most recent questionable decision made by the elders.  And ask yourself how you would like your efforts for Jesus (if you can recall any) would bear up to similar scrutiny.  Matthew 7:1, anyone? 

As I always say, ten years of cleanings doesn’t make you a dentist.

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