ODJ: Trolling the Masters

June 1, 2017 

READ: Mark 3:20-27 

If the godly give in to the wicked, it’s like polluting a fountain or muddying a spring (Proverbs 25:26).

Today, with a single click, you can freely access and rate some of the best music ever written. So how do the masters fare?

On one website, more than 8,000 respondents gave a thumbs-down to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Nearly one in twenty disapproved of Bach’s concertos. On another site, Mozart’s sublime first movement of Eine kleine Nachtmusik (“a little serenade”) received an overall score of 4.2 out of 5.

Mozart gets a B plus?! This is music for the ages, and the internet trolls are finding fault! Regardless, it’s safe to say that the classics will continue to be loved by many.

In Mark’s gospel we read how Jesus went about doing extraordinary things. He drove out evil spirits (Mark 1:21-26), healed people miraculously (1:29-34) and instructed the multitudes in a way they had never heard before. Yet Jesus’ own family thought He had lost His mind (3:21). The religious leaders had a more blunt accusation: “He’s possessed by Satan. . . . That’s where he gets the power to cast out demons” (v.22).

Jesus didn’t simply walk away in disgust, nor did He respond indignantly. Instead, He gave this timeless challenge: “A kingdom divided by civil war will collapse. . . . If Satan is divided . . . how can he stand?” (vv.24-26).

When faced with a personal attack, Jesus simply gave a wise and strong warning that defended the Source of His power—the Holy Spirit.

There’s a lesson here for us. The ‘trolls’ in life will come and go, but we don’t need to join them in exchanging petty accusations. Neither do we need to give them a free pass. If we ask, the Holy Spirit will give us the wisdom to know when to let things go and when to offer a wise challenge.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day plan: Daniel 5:1-30

Proverbs 25:21-28 shares some good observations about conflicts and the wise (and unwise) use of words. 
Are you prone to anger when unfairly attacked? What do you do with your anger? Are your words helpful, or do they make the problem worse?