Our criticisms are ours alone to carry. They do nothing but prevent strong relationships, strong self-esteem and rob us and others of a greater sense of accomplishment. We alone live in isolation from them.
I have felt the brunt of other people’s criticism, at times, and realized that I don’t need to carry someone else’s opinion of me around with me. That burden is their hardship. I can leave their opinions right where I found them, with none the worse for wear. You see, I get to decide what information I keep. I get to stop hurtful criticisms before I take them personally. And I alone allow the good things into my heart like the Word of God.
It reminded me of this fabulous verse.
“Keep (guard) thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23
Our heart is our inner most thoughts of our mind. This should be a tightly controlled secure zone. No thoughts get in or out with a complete screening by the guard (you) and the Keeper, (God).
We’ve been told a lie.
From our teenage years up we start putting ourselves down. We start comparing and getting lots of outside information about our inner thought life. We decide early to take it into our hearts and believe it. But we aren’t taught how to filter and guard that information, or judge whether it is good for us to hear. Until one day we become our own worst enemy! Now we can’t trust even our own thoughts and mind because it will attack.
Do you know what cancer is? It’s when our own physical cells turn against us. Our bodies naturally want to heal. But cancer and AIDS and lots of other diseases, make our bodies fight that good natural order. It eats us from the inside out. Suddenly, we can’t trust our own cells to know what’s good for them. We have to inundate them with something radical and change their attitudes.
“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. (about yourself)
Lie not one to another (or to yourself), seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;”
Other people did this stuff to us, they trained us, so now we do it to ourselves. Yet there is no profit in it. We have to decide to take in the new radical change and trust that God knows what is good for us to think, hear, speak and believe. His word is pure. There are no toxins!
As you read this section think of how you treat yourself…
“And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Forbearing one another (yourself!), and forgiving one another (yourself!), if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. (for yourself!)
And above all these things put on charity (agape), which is the bond of perfectness (maturity).
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. (for yourself!)
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Colossians 3:12-17
You were created for success in all things. You were created to do good works by your Father. He loves and wants you to see the highest and best potential in your life. Sometimes that means forgetting the criticisms and clinging to the truth about yourself. When changing your attitude and renewing your mind about yourself, …
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” vs 23
It takes hard work.
You have to stop yourself mid-thought and change the direction. You have to develop new habit patterns of thinking God’s Word about yourself.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;” 2 Corinthians 10:5
It is called pride when you exalt other opinions over God’s. That includes your opinions about yourself. Isn’t pride what got the devil thrown out of heaven?
You have to decide to leave other people’s criticism and condemnation on the road where you found it. God thinks you’re worth that and HE knows everything. He especially knows what’s best for us.
“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:” 1 John 1:5-6
We want to do the truth!
God bless you today!
EXERCISES FOR PRACTICAL LIVING
This is a new section. I’m going to add in a little exercise that you can do to practice this principle.
What you’ll need:
- Empty Notepad
- 30 Minutes of Quiet time
Sit comfortably and speak in tongues for 5 minutes while controlling your thoughts. Think only of yourself, your body, your mind, and your healing.
Open your eyes and ask God these kind of questions:
- God, if you were me, how would you think of My life?
- God, if you were me, how would you think of me personally?
- God, if you were me, what kind of person do you think I am?
- God, if you were me, how would you change how I think of myself.
- God, if you were me, what would you shoot for in my life goal-wise?
- God, if you were me, what area would you say I’m best at.
When you think of answers, write them down. Write down the first thing that pops into your head. If you see anything written that is unedifying, a criticism, or negative, that thought was not from God. Soon you’ll be able to suss out the thoughts He gives and your thoughts. So go back again and again.
Repeat exercise everyday for 5 days, then ever other day for the next 10.
After that, ask God for a prescription for further doses of this medicine. He may say, take a dose once a week for the next year, He may say more or less.
Keep in mind this is your walk with Him. It will rise or fall to the degree of seriousness, effort and believing you put into it.
I heard once this statement, “The beginning of knowledge is after you think you know it all”. LET God in. Let Him correct what the World has taught you about yourself. Trust me you are worth it!