I am the type of girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. Some may say I am oversensitive because I can take everything personally…even when it isn’t personal.
Have you been there? Worried about what someone might be thinking, if you’ve messed up, said or done something wrong? Positive that the negative comment on a blog or FB post was a direct reflection of you…and the image you see before you is a failure?
I once found myself in this very situation. Something that I had written upset a reader. I felt they responded in a harsh way and I was hurt.
Immediately, I got defensive. Did they read the entire post? Why couldn’t they see my heart behind it?! I wanted to respond and, if I’m honest, I wanted to retaliate. To defend my honor (I may be just a touch melodramatic)!
But I knew those feelings weren’t of God and so I stepped back for a moment. I paused.
I shared my hurts with a few close friends, women whom I could trust. These are women who I can go to and be honest with. Women who know my heart but also will speak truth to me as well. Women who give me constructive criticism when I need it.
And you know what?
Not a single woman said anything negative about the commenter. It can be easy to surround ourselves with people that will “trash talk” with us, bolster our negative attitudes…but these women? These women had hearts that modeled the love of Christ.
Instead of being critical, the response was one of prayer. We lifted up the person who had left the comment in prayer. And we prayed for our own hearts as well. We prayed that we would always be seeking God’s plan even if that means it results in some criticism. We prayed that our hearts would be open to receiving criticism when necessary and that we would not take things personally, but instead find ways to grow because of them.
This isn’t easy to do. Like I said my natural response is to fight back, to defend.
But God has been showing me that He will defend my honor when needed. Instead of fighting a fight that is not mine, I need to be seeking Him. I need to develop that auto response that is Christ-like.
People will not always agree with us…Shocking, I know! 😉 but we are called to love regardless.
So what should you do next time you find yourself being criticized?
Pray! Bring your hurts, your questions, your concerns to God and ask for wisdom and clarification. Be willing to admit when you’re wrong and seek to offer grace when you have been wrongfully accused.
Love like Christ and you can walk away from any situation stronger. Misunderstood at times? Yep, probably, but when we respond in love we can walk in confidence, knowing that our actions are pleasing to God. We never know the hurts, the past, somebody else might be dealing with…So Love first.
Shared By: Kristin Smith
Original Photo Credit before edited: KWDesigns