It was one of those days. According to her, I couldn’t do anything right. Without having any actual authority over me or my job, she still felt it necessary to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do, where I should and shouldn’t go, and what I should and shouldn’t say. It was very painful for me. I was young and inexperienced with dealing with difficult people. And I was a people-pleaser.
It broke me up when someone didn’t like me or said bad things about me. I guess no one probably likes that much, but it was extremely hard for me. Out of respect, I tried not to rock the boat. I did my best to stay out of her way and to keep my mouth shut about any of her problem areas with me. I prayed that God would help me to survive and to grow through the pain.
Over time, things worked out, and I was vindicated; she was wrong, and I was right. But I still felt wounded from the exchange in many ways. A good friend had once told me to be a duck and let untrue criticism roll off my back like water off a duck’s back. She explained that ducks would drown in the water when it rained, if it weren’t for the oil in their feathers which allows the rain to roll right off and not soak in.
I had to learn that lesson and to grow thicker skin. One thing I’ve discovered in life is that there will always be critics who will say what they think without thought of how it will make others feel. I try to examine their words to see if there is any truth I should apply, and then I pray that God would help me let the rest go.
When we pray and ask God to help us during difficult exchanges, we increase our chances of survival and growth exponentially. He can comfort us and help us to navigate the situation successfully and also to grow from the experience.
1 Corinthians 4:8-10 (NLT) says, We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering,
our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.