Core scripture: “Now with the voice of truth and power of God—armed on the right and armed on the left with righteousness from God—we continue.” (2 Corinthians 6:7)
Message: I am such a sucker for words. My number one love language is words of affirmation, and as I read the comments about my teaching style, my heart warmed. Some prayer warriors that follow my blog and many others had expressed glowing comments about the care I put into making students feel special. It was rejuvenating!
Until Wednesday that is.
Quick backstory … I am currently collecting research for a book I am hoping to publish about The Ohana Classroom. A Google Form survey was sent out to my staff to get their feedback on my teaching style. Eight teachers had filled it out. Seven of the eight were peppered with positive comments.
And guess which one is messing with my mind.
The comments of this colleague cut like a knife to my heart. I think I know who it was, but this person typed their name in as “anonymous.” I don’t feel comfortable sharing what they said here. What I will say is that the comments hurt even more considering this person seemed to know me well.
I didn’t know how to take it. I emailed two prayer warriors for advice, both encouraging colleagues, and savored their feedback. Then an FCA friend spoke truth to me via text message. As we know, Jesus tells us to pray for my enemies (Matthew 5:44). I just didn’t want to! Why would you pray for some coward that can’t put their name but feels free to slam me!
I know I should pray for this person. But I haven’t yet. Partly because I haven’t created that time, and partly because I just don’t want to. It is hard! But the Holy Spirit is speaking to me as I write this now. What if I prayed right here? On my blog.
Father, thank you. Thank you for allowing this person to give me honest feedback. Maybe I need to see the opposing side of my teaching philosophy to understand that not everyone will embrace Ohana. Maybe you are preparing me to understand that I will always have critics when it comes to my writing. Thank you for giving this colleague boldness to communicate.
But I pray for this person, Lord. The comments they wrote hurt! There was bitterness and even a bit of anger. I have obviously hurt them in some way, and I pray that you would heal their heart. Heal MY heart! We are such different teachers, and neither one of us will change who You created us to be. Soften us, Lord. Help us agree to disagree.
Lord, help me cling to Your Word. It is the voice of TRUTH! Just like the song, Your voice tells a different story. It tells me to not be afraid. It even tells me that I should fear You, not man (Matthew 10:28). It tells me to shake the dust off my feet and move on (Matthew 10:14). Most importantly, I am reminded that you love me, and I am Your masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). Nothing should matter more than that.
Father, protect me against lies from the Evil One. Even though I try to block it out, I still hear him whispering in my ear that I am not good enough. That voice needs to be extinguished. Help me eradicate that voice with Your Word. Your truth!
I already feel better. I am feeling called to preach this message to others as well. Certainly, local FCA groups could be my audience. My students could get a generic, non-biblical perspective. And of course, the followers here on my blog! I can already see how God is working this out for His good (Romans 8:28).
What about you all? How are you dealing with your critics? Have you ever received a poor evaluation? Has anyone ever hurt you through social media? Have you ever felt the persecution that Jesus said would be coming to real Christ followers? Let’s end with His truth …
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Nothing like the red letters to reassure.
Challenge: Listen to God’s truth when you get discouraged. Hide His Word in your hearts by memorizing and meditating on scripture. If you know someone who is going through a difficult time, encourage them with these life-filled words.
Clint speaks: I created this video for my FCA colleagues earlier this week, but the message is universal for Christ followers. It is a quick message about prayer.
Song application: “The Voice of Truth” by Casting Crowns
But the giant’s calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I’ve tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again. “Boy you’ll never win!”
“You’ll never win!”
But the Voice of Truth tells me a different story
The Voice of Truth says, “Do not be afraid!”
And the Voice of Truth says, “This is for My glory”
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the Voice of Truth
Prayer points: Lift up the following areas to the Lord …
- Praise God for His truth! It is the perfect answer to all our troubles!
- Pray that we will shut out Satan’s lies and focus on the voice of truth.
- Pray that my heart will continue to heal and that I will continue responding to critics in a Christlike way.
Suggestions: What is on your heart? Is there any topic you would appreciate a Christlike perspective about? Feel free to email me anytime at email@example.com, and I will prayerfully consider your topic for my blog.
Just for fun: There was likewise a student survey I sent out to assess my Ohana teaching style. They had the choice of writing their name or remaining anonymous. One student signed his name as “Bartholomew Chungus Gingersnap the Third.” It very much reminds me of a glorious Key and Peele comedy sketch. My favorite name might be “Donkey Teeth.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the truth You provide through scripture! Help us cling to it amidst the struggles in our lives. Amen.
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