Sunday, December 09, 2007

Handling Criticism

Here's the deal with people. They don't matter.

It's common to get upset when people attack you; especially, when they attack your integrity. However, you cannot defend your integrity, you can only build it. It has to defend itself. But still…

How, you might ask, can you stand and listen to insinuative things? There's a trick to not letting people get under your skin. And, the secret is, you simply can't care.

Now, I don't mean to not care about people. God gave everyone inherent value. He placed them subjectively above you, by the way, and gave us individual purposes.

But, really, whose opinions matter? Criticism comes from everyone. Have people who have not earned your respect, earned the right to critique you? My answer is no.

See, the people I respect matter to me. I don't hand out respect freely; so, most people don't just matter. I value them spiritually, but insofar as their opinion? They can pound sand.

But those I respect matter. When they speak I listen. When they criticize I reflect on it. I ponder, worry, and struggle to reconcile disagreements with them. I do.

So, as a result, most people just don't bother me. Their opinions come and go. They are transient and meaningless to me. I see them, I help them, but they don't drag me down. How can they? Why should they?

Trust me, friends, learn the art of about whom to care. Your argumentation style will change, your defensiveness will decrease, and your personal wellbeing will increase. Their criticism is meaningless background chatter.

Now, never forget how important people are to God; and, never forget how meaningless people's opinions of you are either.

Represent God well, but turn away criticism from those who have yet to earn your respect. Consider it, but don't give it a seat to position in your heart.

I hope you can.

On the flip side, carefully volunteer criticism to anyone whose respect you are yet to earn. Why should they listen to you?

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