Are there days when your feelings are hurt easily? Does it seem that everyone has something negative to say about something you are doing or failing to do? I used to have those days quite often, and sometimes, I still have a few. While it is perfectly normal to have hurt feelings in some situations, it can interfere with normal living to be overly sensitive.
It Happens Unexpectedly
Most of the time when I have been offended in some way by comments made, it was completely unexpected. I would be going about my merry way, enjoying life when someone would hurt me with words or actions. There was a time when I let it ruin my entire day. Eventually, I learned that I was allowing my offender to control me, and that was something I did not want!
How long are you going to let the words and actions of others dictate your day and your joy? As long as you allow it, you will never truly be happy. You can not change other people. You can not control the actions of others. You can only control your reaction.
How Can I Change My Reaction?
What steps can you take to control your reaction to the negative behavior of others? Know who you are in Christ. If you begin to change the way you think about yourself, and see yourself as God sees you in Christ, your skin will become thicker, so to speak, and the negative behavior of others will affect you less and less.
Who are you in Christ? Ephesians 1 tells us that we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, forgiven, chosen, adopted, redeemed, and made acceptable to God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 reminds us that we are righteous because of Jesus Christ. He bore our shame on the cross. We no longer need to bear that shame. When you allow this to get into your spirit, you will become confident, not arrogant. That God-confidence will be the key that unlocks the door to the new level in which you love people but can enjoy life regardless of how those people feel toward you.
Use the Words
If someone is just being cruel or malicious toward you, the confidence you have in your new identity can cause the maliciousness to roll off you like water off the back of a duck; however, if there might be some hurtful truth in the words spoken, take that to God. Allow Him to use it to make you better rather than allowing those same words to devastate you! Do you see how God works all things together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28)? What people meant for your harm, God can use for good.
God never meant for us to live our lives bogged down by the opinions of others. Of course, we do not have to go to another extreme and have no regard for people. We are simply not allowing every word or action toward us that we perceive as negative control us, our day, or our lives.
What about you? Are you ready to get confident in who God made you to be? Are you ready to use any truth in criticism to make yourself better?