Handling Criticism

Handling Criticism

Once the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked on a small island, He went to pick up some firewood and a poisonous snake bit him. The people thought he would die immediately. That’s what it feels like when somebody criticizes us, when somebody is talking behind your back, trying to put you in bad light; we can feel the sting of his or her words. I love what Paul did. One translation says, “He simply shook it off.” It was as though he was saying, “No big deal. I’m not going to let this thing bother me. It may be poisonous, it may look bad, but I know God is in control. I know God can take care of me.” Miraculously, the snake didn’t even harm Paul. Many people let negative words or other people’s opinions totally ruin their lives. They live to please other people and honestly think they can be happy by trying to keep everyone else happy. They don’t want anybody to say a negative word about them. That’s impossible. You have to accept the fact that not everybody is going to like you. Some people will find fault, no matter what you do. You can be there for them a thousand times in a row, but they will remind you repeatedly of that one time when you couldn’t show up. Life is too short to try to keep people happy. The Scripture says in Proverbs, “A gossiping, find faulting tongue is like a venomous snake.” A person’s words can poison your life. The longer you think about it, the more venom goes into you. If somebody is talking about you, don’t go home and call seven of your friends and ask, “What did you hear about me?” Just shake it off. Don’t spend all your time trying to win over your critics; just run your own race. Remember, most of the time, it’s not really about you. It’s about the fact that they haven’t dealt with that jealous, critical spirit on the inside. The best thing you can do is ignore the slingers. Do what God has put in your heart and trust Him to take care of the criticism.

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