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Mary DeMuth

If you don’t like criticism, join the club. It’s never easy to hear or read or experience.

And if I’m completely honest with you, I have to admit that I struggle deeply with it. I can’t seem to move beyond it. Words stick to me, particularly negative ones, like Crazy Glue. I assign worth to them, more worth than God assigns to me. This has to stop.

Because, thank God, my worth is not dependent on whether I disappoint someone or fail to live up to expectations. It may feel that way, but that belief is simply untrue.

God breathes worth into us when He ignites our life, from the moment we existed. Because we are His creation, and He is worthy, we as His image bearers are worthy.

Have you considered that it’s undecorated disobedience when you entertain mean words against youself more than you accept and believe your worth?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t take in criticism and learn from it. As a writer, I have to do that all the time. I couldn’t improve unless I was willing to hear hard words. But we do have a choice when we hear criticism. We can listen, sift, ask God to help us, then change (or not change) or we can suck the words in like poison and let them holler accusation over us. “You’re not worthy to be on this earth.” “You’ll never measure up.” “You’re not worth anything.”

Those hateful words are not God’s words to us. His words are for us. Yes, He disciplines, but it’s always with hope and peace, not with berating, not by attacking our worth.

Criticism, whether it’s accurate or not does not define you. Jesus defines you. You don’t even define you.

Today choose to rest there. Not in the mean words. Not in your own taunts. But in His delight over You.

For more hope and humor, visit marydemuth.com

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