We each have 1% driving us nuts in our lives.
99% of the people in our lives are fine. They are benefited by the work we do, they are positive about us and who we are as people, or they are just neutral and have no opinion about us one way or the other.
But we each have a 1%. Negative Nancys. Horrible Harrys. The Haters.
The apostle Paul, in a moment of self-reflection, wrote about this to the church in Corinth…
Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
A thorn. Have you ever had a splinter or a thorn stuck in you? Yeah, you have to deal with it or it’ll drive you crazy!
You can’t ignore it. You can’t do nothing and let it get infected. You have to deal with it.
For you, the issue isn’t just that these people are complaining or don’t like us or something we’ve done. If that were the case we could ignore them. It’s that they’ve gotten under our skin.
Sticks and Stones Actually Do Hurt Me
Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me.
That little childhood nursery rhyme is a lie. Many a great person has been destroyed by words. I’m sad to admit that I bet at some point in my life my words have shattered someone. Words are worse than stones, the bruises they leave last a lifetime.
I don’t know about you. But if 100 people gave me feedback and 99 of them were either neutral or positive and 1 were mean-spirited… I’d go home thinking about that 1 person. I’d lay in bed that night thinking about what I could have done differently.
That 1% carries with me. It hurts me. It’s debilitating.
Don’t Let Them Win
While I fully acknowledge that I cannot ignore the hater-voices in my life I can make one rational choice: They aren’t going to own me.
They have a job to do: Hate.
But I have a job to do: Deal with them. I chose to overcome their words with actions. They poke at me but I just keep swinging away. When I’m tired their anger, doubt, self-righteous do-nothingness drives me to keep going. I deal with haters using their bruises to motivate me.
Why? I don’t know about you. But the calling on my life is way more important than to let the voices of Negative Nancy and Horrible Harry slow me down.
I can’t shut them up. But I can refuse to let them win.
Just keep swinging.