I got my first (semi) negative review of Impartial yesterday. It was based on two minute phrases that truthfully (after further review) needed some further explanation or clarification; on those two phrases out of the entire book, the reviewer threw both the book and my credibility into question.
And for a moment, I believed them. Really, it was more like all day. It gave me quite the head trip. First, I couldn’t remember if what they said was true- if I really had gotten facts wrong- because I wrote the book two years ago and haven’t read it in over a year. Second, I was mortified that someone read my entire book and all they came back with were critiques of two after-thought phrases.
All day, these were they types of thoughts that ran through my head: embarrassment that I might have been teaching false information, and that I am not the writer that I thought God was telling me I was.
One semi-bad review and I began to question my worth and identity in God. How the Adversary laughed in my face yesterday. This morning, I woke up and got ready to pray and do my Romans study, and God asked me this: For whose praise do you live?
I realized very quickly that I have been thriving on man’s praise. More than that- I have been counting on man’s praise. How deadly.
I now realize what questions I should be asking myself:
- Was this project done at God’s behest?
- Did I do my due diligence in research?
- Is God pleased with my efforts?
Really, the last one is the most important. Is God pleased with me? What does HE say about me?
The truth of the matter is that I will not get every single word perfect 100% of the time. I am going to get something wrong sometimes- not because I’m lazy in research, but because I am human and God is God. When teaching about a limitless God, as a human with a very limited understanding, I am going to be wrong sometimes. I trust that God will show me the truth and give me the courage to say when I have been wrong, and teach what He revealed as Truth.
Also true is no matter how well I write, there will always be bad reviews. I cannot desire human praise above that of my Creator. We all like to be encouraged- that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about fodder for praise, for making our own names great. And I think I had gotten caught up in that. I need to remember that though my name might be on the front of the book, God’s Word and power is what inspired and guided it.
It has been a hard lesson to learn, but obviously, it was essential.
So, I take a moment to ask you the same question. For whose praise are you living? Do you measure your worth and identity in the praise of man, or in the Word of God and the whisper of His pride and joy in you? One will always fail you. God never will. You MUST find your worth in Him alone, Beloved. He’s the only one that matters.