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People will praise us one moment and put us down the next. And while of course part of us cares what others think, we must not be deterred from our calling by either their praise or their criticism.

No one likes harsh criticism or to be judged without being given the benefit of the doubt. And it’s tempting to fixate on these things and try to change how others view us.

But we only frustrate ourselves when we constantly try to avoid unfavorable opinions. Even on our best day we will meet someone who doesn’t like us despite our best efforts otherwise.

And just as tempting is to focus on those who give us praise.

It feels good to be liked and naturally we want to drink deeply of this experience. But disappointment is also the end result whenever we stand in constant need of admiration and applause.

To be sure, in balance both praise and criticism make great teachers. They provide invaluable feedback as we refine and grow in our excellence.

At the same time, neither should deter us.

God has given us each a purpose all our own. And our ultimate loyalty is to him.

Our gift is not for everyone. And when others put us down they’re often communicating this very fact. We must not let their criticisms and our efforts to appease them distract us from the work God has called us to.

Likewise, while it’s okay to enjoy whatever praise comes our way, we must still remember our work is for God and not others. We seek his approval more so than the passing accolades of people.

Take whatever praise and criticism helps you to grow into the man God has called you to be. And don’t be deterred by the rest.

Photo by Ryan Tauss on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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