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Toxic Validation | Faith & Fandom 180


Hey, fam. This is Hector Miray, and you’re listening to Faith & Fandom 180 on LTN Radio.

This past weekend, I was at a comic con, and a lot of comic cons for me are just conversations with people. It’s a chance to share, a chance to be encouraged and encourage others and really connect with people. Usually that’s over things like different fandoms or things that we love and celebrate and stuff like that. I have a bunch of different conversations. I had conversations about Ted Lasso at the show. I had conversations about Star Wars, about Doctor Who, about Nope, about The Harder They Fall, about classic hip hop. I had lots of conversations about lots of things and lots of conversations about Jesus.

But at one point in time, a young cosplayer – youngish cosplayer – came up to my booth with a lightsaber and a sort-of-Jedi outfit and said, “Man, I really hate how they’ve ruined Star Wars.” I didn’t comment. I didn’t respond. I just ordered lunch, actually. I was deliciously eating a pimento cheeseburger. I just chewed and I looked at him and he’s like, “They’ve taken everything about Star Wars and ruined it. You know what I mean?”

I just looked at him and was like, “No.” I didn’t respond negatively. I just said, “No.” He went on and was like, “They’ve ruined all the old characters and they’ve given us these terrible new characters” and stuff like this. He kept waiting for me to give him validation on his negative thoughts.

If you know me, I try not to be a negative person. I try not to poop on things for no good reason. I just said no. I didn’t say anything, and eventually he walked away. Then a little bit later, the artist next to me who I didn’t realize was listening to our conversation, he’s like, “Hey, bro, remember when he tried to get you to be toxic and you said no? That was awesome.” He started laughing about it. I didn’t realize he was listening to the whole thing and he was really curious how the Jesus dude was going to respond to crapping on Star Wars or being negative towards stuff. He was really encouraged and impressed by the way I responded.

It reminded me of this verse in Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that may benefit those who listen.”

I didn’t know this artist was even paying attention to the conversation, but he was. When we are sharing about our lives, it should be in a way that it encouraged anyone who actually hears it, whether intentionally or not.

If you’d like to learn more about Faith & Fandom, head on over to faithandfandom.org, where you can learn about our comic con ministry, podcast, memes, apparel, and book series. You can even read new chapters before they make it to the next book. I’m Hector Miray, and thank you for spending the last 180 seconds with me.

Faith & Fandom 180 is an LTN Radio audio short that dives deep into something from nerd culture and connects it to our faith journey.

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