Well, that ain’t gonna happen with some people. There was a time when I thought my restoration was dependent on everyone accepting and even liking me again. That was dumb, but it is not, all that unusual. We all get validation from people. Unfortunately, we can easily allow their validation to take the place of God’s, and that can prevent us from moving forward. Let’s face it, I have a host of people who do not, cannot and will not like, forgive or accept me. Maybe you do as well. These are ones, who are going to be forever, among those who refuse to believe, that we are genuine and sincere. Some, may eventually change their minds, but many won’t. I have learned what I must do, to deal with this.
1. Be honest with myself. I know me. I know when I am doing right, and I know when I am not. I know if I am sincere, and I know, if I am insincere. Other than the Lord, no one else knows my heart, so I cannot spend my time worrying about what they think. I must concentrate on, what I know. Some, will never even attempt to get to know me, because they have judged and condemned me totally. I cannot be dissuaded by their prejudicial opinions. I must make certain, that I am walking right with my Lord.
2. Learn to control what I read and hear. I do what everyone should do, except I do it out of self preservation. I don’t read the garbage. I protect my mind like I should be doing anyway. Letting yourself listen to, or read what critics say about you, is totally counterproductive. Don’t do it. Keep your thoughts on the things taught in Philippians 4:8.
3. Become comfortable in the reality of the hatred. Look, I quit tiptoeing around it a long time ago. People hate me. Now let’s move on. It is what it is. I am not going to change it. When My son died, I noticed that not talking about him hurt more than talking about him. It was therapy to speak of him. Pretending he did not die almost as if he never lived, was horrible. I could not live that way. I know people hate me, so I am at peace talking about it. It is almost a game for me now. I acknowledge it, not because I hear or read it, but because I know others do. I do not want it to be the elephant in the room.
4. Put myself out there to help other people. Yeah the haters will squawk. Let ’em. I have to ignore it and do what I can, to be a blessing to those who need it. Does it frighten me? Of course it does. But I commanded, NOT to fear.
5. That said, I must freely express what God has done for me. I must open up and give Him glory for all of Hhis wondrous works. Be fearless to speak up for the Lord, even as critics are judging you. How can we, but speak of His marvelous mercy and grace in our lives?
6. I must be prepared for more exposure. The more I speak out, the more I will be attacked. Anyone who attempts great things FOR GOD, even someone who has not fallen, will be attacked. I guarantee it. Do not be naive. Attacks are inevitable for anyone who tries to help others, but especially to those who have a fall in their past. Be prepared for it, so it does not blindside you.
7. I must show God’s grace and compassion without expectations. I know the feeling of someone I help, hearing the enemy rip me and turn away. I still helped them, and besides I must do it as unto the Lord, not for what I get out of it. At times, I notice that someone who I advised and helped has unfriended me. It sets me back for a moment, but then I consider this. God used me in their life and that is all that matters.
8. I hope to inspire other people. That is a huge thing to me. I want to be an inspiration to people who feel like they cannot come back. I must stay positive and strong in grace. If I succumb to the critics then how can I help others who are being attacked for their efforts to serve the Lord.
9. I create some safety zones. As much as I know I will be criticized, I do my best to put up shields to avoid it getting through to me. I am thankful to people who protect me, not from attacks, but from knowing about the attacks. I ask my friends to guard my mind, not inform me of what people are saying. Most of my social media is carefully guarded. That is on purpose, to keep me from being discouraged by those who only wish to tear down, not build up.
My dear ones, please be careful that you do not let the ones who will never like you, never trust you, never forgive you, and never give you a chance to have any influence on you. Do these things and guard yourself. Sometimes, the dearest friend will approach you with a betraying kiss, disguised as loyalty. Be ready for it, and react in a way that does not allow you to be devastated by their actions. (DH)