The process of writing and publishing includes rejection as part of the process. God uses rejection to help us clarify and refine the vision of our work. This painful experience and how we handle it can determine the course of our life’s work. God is very interested in our work.
When I handle my rejection as a spiritual matter I bring God in to the solution.
Three steps are presented in Andy Stanley’s excellent book Visioneering, using Nehemiah as a model for handling criticism. We go back to these steps in times of rejection and criticism.
“Criticism strikes an emotional chord in us. The emotion must go somewhere. To reflect it back to critics is to play their game. To bottle it up inside can result in depression or ulcers. Another option is to dump it out on someone completely unrelated to the situation: spouse, friends, employees, your children. That only complicates things. The only healthy and profitable thing to do is to pour out your heart to you heavenly Father.”
2. Remember the Source of the Vision
“As long as you respond to criticism by evaluating your potential, you will be tempted to give up. But when you respond by remembering who it is who has called you…it is a different story.”
3. Revise the Plan
“I have never met anyone or heard of anyone who accomplished anything significant for the kingdom who didn’t have to revise plans multiple times before the vision became a reality.”
One final thought from Visioneering:
“When your vision is on the verge of being snuffed out by the criticism of others, your Father is interested. It concerns him. In this way your response to criticism is a spiritual matter. And your heavenly Father is more than willing to get involved in the conflict.”
That is how to handle criticism.
We needed to remember that today. Anyone else?
Laurie and Betsy