I hate criticism.
It can send me spiraling. Especially if I am being criticized about something I already beat myself up over.
When people criticize me, my first reaction is to talk them out of it.
Tell them why they are oh, so wrong about me.
I will chew and stew and argue.
Like a lawyer, I want to build a solid case. I want to gather all of the evidence that shows otherwise. I want to take the stand to tell my side of the story. I want to prove that I am not who or what they say I am.
This takes a ton of time and energy and doesn’t produce anything positive. Instead, it makes my head, heart, and gut ache.
It’s a monumental waste of my time.
Am I right?
Have you ever changed your mind because someone told you all the reasons “why” you are wrong about something you strongly believe?
It doesn’t work that way.
So why do I keep doing this in the face of criticism?
I don’t know, actually.
I wasn’t even aware how much I do this until recently.
We are exploring courage this month in the Fellow Dweller Club, and it has me looking at everythingdifferently. I find myself searching for courage in each situation.
I was reading the Gospel of Mark over the weekend.
It holds the gut wrenching account of Jesus’s arrest and that total sham of a “trial.”
As I read the words, something stirred down deep.
Jesus had the courage not to defend himself.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’”
Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?”
But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer. (Mark 14:55-61, NIV)
Jesus did not try to talk them out of it.
Jesus did not build a case. Nor gather all of the evidence that revealed otherwise.
Jesus did not take the stand to tell His side of the story. Nor did He try to convince them they were oh, so wrong about Him.
Jesus did not need to prove who or what He was.
Jesus already knew.
He is His Father’s Son.
When someone criticizes me, I want the courage not to defend myself.
I want to use Jesus’s courage to find my own in the face of people’s criticism and the hissing sounds of Resistance.
Because I do not need to prove who or what I am.
I already know.
I am my Father’s Daughter.
What criticism (inside or out) are you facing?
What would it be like to put Jesus’s confident silence to work in your own situation?
Does it make you feel powerful and strong to think about it?
Will you walk with His power and strength this week?
Join me in the Fellow Dweller Club for power, perspective and purpose in your weekdays.
Also published on Medium.