Criticism

September 12, 2016

Okay so the truth is… I’m having a little “writer’s block.” I can’t seem to put any thoughts to paper… well actually, I don’t have any thoughts… that’s the real problem.  So, be patient with the following.

Do you know what a “projection” is? I don’t mean a picture thrown up onto a wall or screen by a “projecting” device. I mean a “projection” of our thoughts and ideas. Basically, it’s the notion that we instinctively think that other people have the same thoughts and values we do… or the idea that how we respond to something is how other people will also respond. So we “project” our ideas onto others. For example, someone doesn’t see you and they almost hit you as they move from the left lane to the right lane in traffic. How do you react? You might be angry, and you might also think, “Who wouldn’t be angry in that situation?” (That’s the projection.) Well, the truth is, many people might not get angry. They might choose to remember the times they did the same thing to someone else. They might realize it was not intentional. They might just choose to be forgiving. But “anger”…, maybe not. Not everyone is you or like you. Not everyone is me or like me.

All of that to say this. What I am going to write about today may be a “projection” on my part. It may not apply to you at all and you may even find it perplexing and inaccurate. Remember, not everyone is you or like you… and not everyone is me or like me.

Have you ever had one of those occasions where 99 people say good things about you or something you have done but one person is critical? What do you tend to focus on? Maybe you are able to keep it all in perspective and you are grateful for the 99 and you ignore the one. BUT… maybe you don’t. Maybe, just maybe, you find yourself focusing on the one. Maybe, just maybe you find yourself obsessing on it. Maybe, just maybe it keeps you awake at night. Maybe, just maybe…

I mean… what is it about some of us? We always go to a bad place when we are criticized, even when its intended to be positive/instructive criticism by someone that we trust and we know loves us and has the best intentions for us. Yeah, I’m not sure either. I mean it could be… just might be… you know… we maybe don’t feel so good about ourselves at times so when someone points out our flaws… well… You get it?

Here’s the good news (sort of)… not one of us is without flaws. NOT ONE! Every one reading this and the one writing this have areas in their lives where they are broken, defective, impaired, defeated… You know what I mean, don’t you; those areas that someone would access if they really wanted to hurt you. There may be the rare exceptions of those who don’t know what I’m talking about… Um… “Pride goeth before a fall” and all that…

The truth is… Satan knows your weaknesses as well as you do. Occasionally, Ellen will remind me that I am under “spiritual attack.” It’s hard to see when you are in the midst of a battle, but Satan desires to destroy all that God holds dear. You are part of that! It’s hard to keep in perspective that the Evil One uses people and circumstances to cause us pain and disillusionment. Do you believe that? If not then you likely cannot battle it. One needs to identify the enemy before effectively neutralizing it.

I will say that there is something comforting about the notion that I have people in this world who love me… no matter how lousy I can be at times. No matter what “the one out of 100” says. They care about me even though I have glaring weaknesses. One of them has chosen to stay married to me for 41 years. Four others carry my genes… and they still like me… most of the time anyway. Go figure.

Years ago I read a book entitled “Well Intentioned Dragons.” It was intended to address issues in churches, but the principles apply to many areas in life.  The short of it is this, in the church there are people who have good intentions…, they just happen to leave a wake of destruction behind them.  Sadly, they are the last to see the chaos they create in people’s lives.  Maybe you have a dragon in your life.  It might be someone who has good intentions, but they always bring you down.  It might be someone who is being used by Satan to tear you apart.  Years ago I remember a woman telling me about “destructive compliments” that came from her mom.  On one occasion, her mother said, “I like your hair that way… it doesn’t make you look so fat.”  Way to go mom!  You just breathed a fire ball at your daughter.

Maybe, just maybe someone reading this right now is under attack. Someone or something has you questioning yourself, your worth, and whether anyone on the planet does or should care about you.  Maybe you are seriously questioning your faith and whether God or Jesus exists.  Does that describe you?  If so, pray that God will protect you from the Evil One.  Cry out to Jesus.  I mean that… get by yourself and cry out.  Then find a friend…  Don’t deal with these things alone.  If you do you will likely lose.

I hope you find comfort in these words found in 1 John 3:1-3

3 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

Blessings.

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