“What do you guys think of Jennifer Rothschild?”
That was the opening question of a post that I should not have read!
A friend told me she had spotted my name, so I decided to check it out. But, when I read the rest of it, I felt like a balloon when the air is being sucked out of it—deflated and scrawny.
Here’s the rest of her post:
“The women’s ministry at our church is going to use one of her DVD series and book stud[ies] this fall. I haven’t read any of her material, personally, but I did some research about her and her associations. She’s appeared on Christian TV shows (that I disagree with) and lots of secular shows too. Has anyone heard any of her teachings? Would you be concerned about her? I am. She apparently is ecumenical, because her itinerary includes many denominations of churches and colleges. I am convicted myself to avoid her . . . what are your thoughts?”
Convicted to avoid me?
I didn’t even know this woman, but her misinterpretation of what I do and why I do it crushed me. Everything in me wanted to run and hide.
We all have that place in us that, when it gets messed with, causes us to deflate. We feel like the wind is knocked right out of us.
What is it for you?
Criticism? Failure? Comparison? Rejection?
Clearly, criticism—the kind that’s not constructive or kind—can knock the wind out of me. Maybe the same is true for you too. Like me, criticism may leave you with the tendency to want to sit it out, retreat, and even hide.
But, Hebrews 10:39 says that “we are not of those who shrink back.” Sister, I’m not—and you’re not either.
So, what do we do when we get the wind knocked out of us?
Here you two ways you can respond when the wind gets knocked out of you.
2 Ways to Respond to Criticism
- Get back up. Yep, it’s that simple and it’s that hard. If you fall down because a situation or person knocked you down, look at where you’ve fallen. You always fall on the grace of God. Judgment may have knocked you down, but it is grace that breaks your fall.Grace is like a trampoline that helps you bounce back and get right back up. That means you just choose to stand up with the resilience of grace even if you feel crushed. You dust off the gunk and you lift your chin.And, when we fall on grace, we receive grace from God and then give grace to others. Your willingness to let go of bitterness or disappointment lightens you so it’s easier to stand. Bitterness, resentment, or disappointment can serve as weights that will just keep you down.
When you know grace supports you, then you can get up and move forward.
- Get back out there. To get back out there means you don’t hide from your fear or your failure. You don’t hide from others opinions of you. Just like a kid learning to ride a bike, when you fall, you get right back on that seat and keep pedaling! You may wobble or feel afraid, but you do it afraid!Risk being wrong. Risk making a mistake. Risk feeling hurt. Be wise and guard your heart, but don’t self-protect yourself into a closet. The longer you hide, the quicker your confidence dies.The same grace that can absorb your fall and help you bounce back is the same grace that pushes you forward and gives you the courage not to quit or isolate. It can fuel your perseverance because “it is God Who works in you, both to will and to work His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).
When you let go of what hurts you or scares you or deflates you, your hands are free to spread wide like wings. You’ll be caught by the fresh wind of grace—and that grace will always lift your spirit and give you confidence.
So, if criticism has left you wanting to crumble, don’t let it. Instead, get back up and get back out there. Let’s be people who are “convicted to avoid” quitting or hiding and instead be people who are “convicted” to stand on grace!
Remember, whatever you face and however you feel, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.
This post originally appeared on JenniferRothschild.com and was republished with permission.
Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.