Guess What I Heard about You
Bible Reading: Proverbs 19:19-23—Get all the advice and instruction you can, and be wise the rest of your life. Proverbs 19:20
You sign up for the football team and can’t wait to tell your friend. “The football team? Are you kidding?” he snorts. “You’re terrible at sports. The only position the coach will let you play is left end—of the bench!”
It hurts to get slammed. If we don’t deal with the hurts we feel, our self-image starts to wilt. But with God’s help we can turn other people’s nasty words into helpful advice. Here’s how you can make that happen:
1. Decide if you deserve the criticism. Do you truly need to take a shower and stop sleeping in your clothes? Do you really need to spend more time on your math homework? If the criticism is right on target, then you just have something to work on.
When Kristi told Bethany that she was being selfish for always deciding what they were going to play, Bethany thought hard about it. Then she talked with her mom and her older sister, two people she knew would be honest with her. They agreed that sometimes Bethany acted selfishly, and she took some wise advice on being more sensitive to others.
2. Decide to let undeserved criticism slide off. Plenty of criticism is way off the mark. If everyone in the world is hurling untrue, ugly remarks at you, it won’t work just to think happy thoughts about yourself. But you can help criticism slide off by recalling what God says about you in his Word. No criticism can undo the fact that you are God’s much loved child. You are valued, accepted, and gifted.
Kristi not only said Bethany was being selfish but stomped out of the house screaming that there was no reason she’d ever want Bethany to be her friend. That’s when Bethany again turned to her mom and sister. They knew the real Bethany. While they could be honest about her rough spots, they also reminded her of all the times she had been kind to friends.
When you wonder what you should believe about yourself, it’s ultraimportant to remember one thing: God is the one who has the truest view of you. And he’s put special people in your life to remind you of that precious fact.
TALK: Have you been criticized recently? How did you react? How did your friends and family help you handle it?
PRAY: God, help us to receive criticism. Help us learn from what is true and reject what is untrue.
ACT: Decide on one or two trusted, wiser people you can talk to when you get slammed.