Faith | Work | Culture

I had a great conversation with an upcoming guest on the #SheImpactsCulture podcast yesterday. One of the topics we chatted through was all about navigating criticism.

Unfortunately, someone always has something to say, and sometimes it can be about you, even if they don’t really know you or your heart. And friend, I so understand how hurtful this can be. I’ve had my fair share of criticism, and it always stings.

What does criticize mean? It means to find fault with.
What does it mean to be criticized? It means to express disapproval of someone or something.

What saddens my heart is that in our world today, we are quick to criticize and slow to take the time to get to know someone.

As my guest and I chatted through this, I couldn’t help but be reminded that just because someone criticizes you doesn’t mean you should stop doing what you’ve been called to do.

Enter Taylor Swift. I vividly remember a moment in her career that could have derailed her. It was 2009, and she was accepting the award for best female video at the VMA’s. In the middle of this acceptance, Kanye West hops on stage and shares that Beyonce had the best video. He expressed his “disapproval” of the award she had just earned on live TV in front of millions. Imagine if she had let that one encounter, that “criticism,” that disapproval, stop her from moving forward in her gifting and talent? We would not have the Taylor Swift that we have today!

And friends, here’s the truth: this has been happening for years. Some of our favorite biblical heroes encountered criticism and disapproval:

  • Joseph: He had a God-given dream that his brothers squashed. They disapproved of his dream.
  • Moses: He had a big task, leading the Israelites to the Promised Land. And yet, time and time again, he was criticized by the very people he was leading.
  • Job: This man’s “friends” were convinced that some sin in his life caused his demise. They were determined to find some fault in his life.
  • Nehemiah: He had a vision to rebuild, and he was criticized for it. Sanballat didn’t want the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt.

Friends, when you lead and do the work God has called you to, you will face criticism. I recently read that “there is no such thing as opportunity without opposition.” And here’s the thing, at times, people will be threatened by you, your vision, your work, your leadership, and your opportunities. And when people are threatened, they tend to criticize.

So, friend, I’m here to encourage you today to keep going! Don’t let one person’s criticism stop you from doing the good work that God has called you to! Free yourself from the opinions of others! And if need be, go have a workout session with Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” on repeat!

“God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns.” ~ Philippians 1:6

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Success... I look forward to connecting with you!