It Takes Time To Grow Up
Growing up, maturing, and standing on our own is a process. A part of growing up is learning how to deal with what life throws at us. A part of growing up is learning how to deal with people. It is learning we are all different. What impresses me will likely have no appeal to someone else. What I dislike, another may like. Learning to live with people is learning that their different tastes are okay. A hard growing up lesson is understanding there are all kinds of people. I do not mean just racially or economically, but people who have different nuances or tendencies. Those differences become intolerable if we do not give the benefit of the doubt, .
Whose standard is right and whose is wrong? Are my nuances and tendencies the right ones and another’s wrong? What if we simply let people be people? What if we simply accepted that we all have differences? What if we learned to accept those differences? Isn’t that what we all want? Do any of us like to be so criticized that we are left with no shred of self-dignity?
Certainly, if a particular thing is a matter of violating God’s will, we obey God. But let’s make sure that it is God’s will being violated. Let’s make sure that we do not make our will equivalent to God’s will.
There is another consideration, and that is my response. There is a responsibility on the part of the critic and there is a responsibility on the part of the one who receives it. We get to choose how to interpret what another says. We get to choose what we do with the information. We get to choose whether it has any value. We get to choose if the critic is right. We get to choose. We do not have to believe or accept what has been said about us. We do not have to respond to everything that happens to us.
When we internalize what others say about us, we allow them to determine our value. They determine what I think. They rule my heart. Also, what is to be our attitude toward those who hurt us? We can pray for them. We can speak well of them. We can find an opportunity to serve them. We can value them (Matt. 5:44-48).
Not everything is personal. It may be the person who has said hurtful things is hurting too. We can choose not to take everything and put a dark spin on it. God took the most evil thing man could have ever done, crucifying His son, and turned it into the greatest gift: grace. Give what others need, not what they deserve.