Today, I want to share some brief thoughts on how we react to our critics. Because I believe shame, unforgiveness and bitterness are some of the most powerful triggers to addiction and unhealthy behavior, I believe it is important to know how to respond when we feel attacked.
So here are two simple principles:
1. LEARN FROM YOUR CRITICS BUT DON'T ACCEPT THIER SHAMING.
There is usually some element of truth we can find in most critisism that comes our way. But often the spirit in which it is delivered can be filled with shame and become emotionally sabotaging. We are not our mistakes!
Understand the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt says we have done wrong. Shame says we are wrong. Guilt says we have done evil. Shame says we are evil.
Invite people into your life that are your advocates, willing to guide you through your mistakes, but with compassion and grace.
2. RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO VALIDATE YOURSELF TO OTHERS.
Some of the most destructive moments in our lives are when we allow our ego and pride to get the best of us. There are simply times in our life when we should not feel compelled to prove people wrong and "self-protect."
As wise as Jesus was, there were times he chose to keep silent.
"The high priest stood up and said to Him, “Do You not answer? What is it that these men are testifying against You?” But Jesus kept silent."
Matthew 26:62-63 (NASB)
I wrote this prose awhile back as a reminder to myself.
Sometimes silence is the answer for those accused of wrong.
Silence is not for the weak. Only the strong.
Silence is faiths quiet resistance to the challenge you are in.
It will not bring dignity to the webs an enemy may spin.
Silence is our freedom to be misunderstood by men.
It is the divine understanding of knowing when not to say when.
It is giving up the demands to hear and be heard.
Putting an end to the noise of assertions that have been blurred.
When invited to the den of malnourished lions, pleased to rip and tear.
When thrown into a furnace flaming with ultimatums deemed unfair.
We may find silence to be our friend.
It may be silence, God will send.
Lori and I are praying for your strength to not only outlast your unfairest of critics, but to gloriously love them back into kingdom grace and Jesus goodness.
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Comeback Coach. Resurrectionist. Jesus flag-waver.
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