What You Think of Me ...
"Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me."1
A Daily Encounter reader writes, "I am currently experiencing discouragement from a friend caused by their criticism of me. In my case I wonder if some friends are too afraid of us surpassing them in some area and their being left behind. Sad, but it makes me want to pray more for my 'discouragers' so that they may find our Lord faithful to supply all of their needs. After all, discouraging us doesn't make them more successful, significant or victoriousórather, quite the opposite."
It is true in that whenever someone rises head and shoulders above his fellow man, he quickly becomes the target for the jabs and jibes of jealous lesser men.
Criticism can be very painful especially when it comes from those who are closest to us. In the long run, however, it does much more harm to the one criticizing than it does to the one being criticized. Furthermore, criticism only destroys us if we allow it to.
If we are being criticized and the criticism is valid, we need to be big enough to accept the criticism and make necessary changes to correct where we have been wrong.
On the other hand, if the criticism is unjust, we need to realize (though easier said than done) that the more secure we become within ourselves, the less others' criticism will bother us. In such cases I like what another has said, "What you think of me is none of my business."
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be big enough to accept all criticism, evaluate it honestly, admit where I am wrong, and make changes where such is necessary. Where criticism is unjust, help me to brush it off and pray for my critic. And please deliver me from having a negative, critical attitude. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Psalm 41:9 (NIV).