“Cute haircut . . .” It started out as a seemingly innocent compliment.
I’d planned to run into the mall one Saturday morning when we lived in the Chicago area to grab a tube of mascara.
The mall was packed. I finally spotted a group of customer service reps walking towards me led by a man, who appeared to be in charge. I was just about to ask him to grab me a tube of the smokey long-lasting when he said to me, “Cute haircut.. . . ”
I was momentarily flustered. I was mom. Over 40. “I’ve still got it,” I thought and smiled to myself.
Before I could sheepishly bat an eye, he added LOUDER, “It’d look even better if you’d combed it.”
Then he dismissively flipped his hand in my direction and said, “Oh, I’m Oprah’s stylist, so I just say whatever I want to people sometimes.”
My face got hot. Puddles formed in my armpits. It was an awkward moment.
Who in your life always has a critical word for you? Maybe they don’t like the way you look. Maybe they don’t like the clothes you wear. Maybe your mother-in-law doesn’t like the way you parent her grandkids or keep your house. Maybe your husband doesn’t like the way you cook. Maybe your own mom has few encouraging words for you.
I can remember a time when a comment like that would’ve crushed me. I would’ve walked around for days down on myself.
What happened that time? Not much beyond a spike in body temperature.
I don’t possess superpowers that make me impervious to insults. They don’t bounce off my chest like I’m Superman. What I do possess is the power to decide how I’m going to interpret an insult someone throws my way.
When I choose to interpret an insult through the eyes of the God–who created the universe–then I don’t have to take offense because He tells me I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.
God doesn’t make mistakes. When I believe I’m fearfully and wonderfully made, I can respond differently.
We hear fearfully and wonderfully made all the time. But what does it really mean? It means God didn’t need any more people in His universe. He had plenty by the time I came along.
But He chose to create me, and He chose to create you.
And, we’re unique.
So, when someone says to me, “You need to lose some weight,” I hear “You’re fearfully and wonderfully made.”
When someone says to me,” You’re going to feed your kids that?” I hear “You’re fearfully and wonderfully made.”
When someone says they don’t like something about me, I don’t have to be offended.
It’s normal to be hurt in response to an insult.
But when we’re intentional about believing what God’s says, we can transform our response.
The world is full of people who are going to try to knock me down to make themselves to feel better. They may not like the way I drive, dress, walk, or style my hair.
I don’t think Oprah’s stylist was trying to make himself feel better by insulting me. I mean, he’s Oprah’s stylist. It’s probably safe to say he doesn’t even remember it.
When I’m intentional about how I choose to accept criticism by believing what God says about me, I don’t have to take offense.
Take a moment to imagine the next time you see that critical person in your life. Imagine what they’ll say. (You know they’re going to say it. They always do.) Then imagine yourself thinking, “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Maybe you won’t get it right the first few times, but you can learn to change your response.
So, when someone tries to cut me down, I don’t have to agree with what they say. And, they certainly don’t define who I am because I know who I am. And I know I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.
Get Your Real On,