Criticism’s not fatal when you’re firm on the Rock

Categorized as Rhonda's Posts

In morning’s brisk air, I pop on in. I’ve just come from some time spent with a friend in a local coffee shop. Mister steps forward to greet me and hands me an envelope with my name.

I’ve got mail.

I look at the front. Ah, this will be reader mail from a magazine I’d written for in the past. I open it up. And withdraw a handwritten missive in pencil.

I scan the page. She’s taking issue with one sentence I’d penned. One after another, she’s listed Bible verses thatprove her point. In addition, she’s included the column that’s bugging her with the offending sentence underlined in ink and marked with a ?. Then, for my benefit, she’s also included an article–written, I note, by a human like me–so that I will be taught and corrected.


Funny (wry grin) the way He works. After a lifetime of being a slave to the fear of man with a horrid addiction to human approval, I’ve just this very week, released it to Jesus. “Do whatever it takes to free me. Take whatever, give whatever I need.” And I meant it. Then today, the letter rebuking.

I took it to the two that I trust: Lord Christ and my beloved, wise Mister. “Bless her,” Jesus said, “then keep right on walking. There’s no reason for losing your peace. You’re on the Rock!” And so I obeyed His command and prayed blessing.

Funny (still grinning) how He works. For this very evening, my son came home from school. With a small tale.

For those of you who know our boys, you will be familiar and quite fond of Boy Three, our senior. This is the kid that put me in bed for 2-1/2 months for the *cooking.* Around the globe (and I mean that), prayers arose, and Heavenly Father, He answered our prayers. And He kept him.

Now, third in the line of four, he was our quiet one. Nonemotive, but tender. Smart, hilarious, and kind. And gifted! Did I mention that, too?

It was while a brother was out on The Race, traveling the world’s other side, that he discovered a new and wonderful talent. It started with a small update video for this one that he loved. Upon watching it for the first time, my mouth opened. My jaw dropped until it landed (I am sure) on the floor. For all at once, with the video cam rolling, he came to life! Hand gestures, facial expressions, hilarious and impromptu commentary. Which he YouTubed to everyone’s delight. Including Traveling Brother.

Then a youth pastor got hold of it, saw latent gifting, and began to call it forth. (Veenstra and Prenkert, we bless you!) The quiet, out-of-the-limelight kid with the stylin’, fun haircut began to rise and to shine. So affirming! So exciting.

But now. Back to the small school tale. It was in the course of conversation with this one in authority that two words dropped down like small knives, “…your weirdo videos.”

In that moment, my mind went back just hours before to the missive that had landed in my hands. So I taught him. “Just because someone says something to you doesn’t mean that they’re right.” And I told him what had happened to me.

“I took it to Jesus,” I said to my boy, “and this is what He told me to do. So I did it.” His father, standing there, listened, teaching, too; speaking truth, giving life to his son.

Before he left the kitchen, home’s heart, I offered this one, little thing: “Jesus also told me that even if I would have done or said something wrong, even then. Even then I would be okay.” For even true failure or mistakes, it’s not fatal. I’m oh-kay.

Yes, I’m okay. I’m firm on the Rock and so are you when you mess up even if it’s only in another human’s eyes. Criticism isn’t fatal. For mistakes, He gives grace. And after that, there is full restoration.

So you know, it’s all good. It really is. For Jesus has been faithful to work in my heart, and He’s working in our son’s good heart, too. And all’s well.

For Him, for His kingdom, for the next generation,


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