What makes you think you can do that? You aren’t good enough. You’ll never measure up to be like them. That is the dumbest dream I’ve ever heard. You aren’t doing it the right way. You need to do this and that. I think you’re wrong.
Have you ever heard these words spoken to you?
You have decided to share your heart with someone. You are excited to share what God has laid on your heart. You just know that everyone else will be excited too. But, the response you get is not what you were expecting. Just when you are at a high and are ready to pursue your dream, someone comes along and knocks you out of the clouds and down you go. Your confidence and belief in yourself has gone from 100% to nothing. When people criticize you, it makes you feel like a report has just come out in the newspaper about you.
Extra! Extra! Read all about what Vanessa wants to do!
Your name made the front page headlines. Listed there are all the critical things anyone has to say about what you are doing or what you plan to do. Everyone who gets the paper can read it and they will all think the same way as the friend whom you shared your heart with.
Why do people like to criticize? Why are people so mean and hurtful? Why can’t they just be happy and supportive? I wish I had the answer for that one.
Even the disciples were criticized for what they were doing for the Lord. In Acts 11:1-2 it says:
The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”
The disciples were doing great things. They were sharing the love of Jesus with others and telling them all about salvation and what Jesus did for us. But yet there were some believers who did not like what they were doing…at all. They didn’t want certain people to hear the message of Jesus. They thought it was sinful to go into the house of uncircumcised men and eat with them.
All I have to say to that is…good grief!
When people are critical, though, this has caused me to be more aware of my own criticisms of others. I know what it’s like to be on the receiving end of criticisms. I know what it feels like to be hurt by their words, wounded by the critical words that come out of their mouth. I know how I can let that one person’s words stop me in my tracks and keep me from pursuing what I feel God wants me to do. I don’t like it, either.
Now I have learned to be more careful of my own words toward others. Even when I don’t like what someone else is doing or think they aren’t doing it the best way or the way I would do it, I try to think before I speak. Sometimes I have to think fast as I’ll let words slip that are hurtful. And that’s when I have to back up and apologize. I remember the feelings I have when someone is critical of me and that prevents me from speaking hurtful words. I don’t want others to feel that way. It’s not a good feeling.
Criticism is hard, especially when it comes from sharing your heart with someone whom you thought would be supportive of you. Don’t let your confidence get shaken. Stand firm and continue to do what God has called you to do. And remember this key verse found in Hebrews: