|Posted on June 22, 2020 at 7:50 AM|
I am currently reading “The Next Right Thing” by Emily P. Freeman in an on-line book club. I am about three-fourths of the way though the book, and I definitely recommend it for anyone who might be looking for help in making a decision in life.
Chapter Eighteen definitely struck me – the chapter title is “Don’t Give Your Critic Words.” The premise is that positive, constructive criticism from good sources is valuable, but the negative, destructive criticism that comes from those who do not believe in you – who perhaps may only be interested in tearing you down – is another story.
As a Christian who wants to grow closer to God, I need regular support and guidance to keep me on track and help me make decisions. Those people who love me and care about me will give me words I need to hear and heed when I start to stray. But if I allow the words of those people who do not have my best interests at heart to pull me down and lure me into negative thinking about myself, that does not help me. Therefore, I must discern whose words are good and helpful and whose words are not.
I recall a time when I was a teenager and was just starting to attend a public school. At the bus stop, there were some girls who teased me about several things, including my appearance, and their remarks devastated me. Because I wanted to “fit in,” I let their remarks hurt me and cause me to strive to emulate them in certain ways, but the end result was they still didn’t like me and I was miserable.
A negative self-image trailed me for many years as a result of my continually replaying the words of those critics. It was much later in life that I came to realize that their comments were not the ones I should have been listening to all those years. Those words did not reflect my true self. I finally decided that those critics should no longer have a say in my life. And thankfully, my self-image has gradually changed for the better.
Sadly, I can also name other examples from my life where I listened to the wrong critics. It has taken much discernment to realize this and make more changes in my thinking.
I suspect that maybe you too have had poor critics in your life. If there are any of those critics still hanging around, trying to put negative words into your mind instead of constructive feedback to help you grow, maybe now might be the time to banish them.
Instead, like I did, you can listen to God and His non-judgmental love of us and to those truly reliable mentors who have your best interests in mind. Oh yes, they will occasionally tell us a few things we can change in our lives, but they will do so in a loving way that is designed to help us to become better versions of ourselves.
Stay away from the negative criticism this week, and instead bless yourself with positive thoughts!
Have a blessed Monday!
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