How to Put Negative Into Perspective

As an author, I hope that my words inspire people. To cause them to pause for a moment and reflect, to help them examine themselves and what they hold dear.

I check my reviews on Amazon to see if I’m hitting this mark. I’m thrilled when people connect with my books and tell me I’ve helped or encouraged them. I know not everyone will enjoy my books and don’t expect every review to be glowing with praise.

But as I read the reviews, I’ve noticed something. The negative comments stick with me much longer than the good ones. They have a way of making my stomach sink and my shoulders slump. A little voice whispers, “Maybe you weren’t cut out for this. You’re a fraud.”negative

If I’m not careful, these whispers will infect me and spread to other areas of my life. When God nudges the whispers aside, I realize they’re a lie from the enemy. I’m betting you’ve heard these whispers too. Maybe in regards to your parenting ability, sharing your faith with others, areas in your job, or something with your marriage.

The enemy will take any foothold he can get. When you receive feedback that’s less than perfect, ask yourself these questions to make sure you have the correct perspective.

1. Is there any truth in this? Just because we don’t want to hear something, doesn’t make it a lie. You need to be able to look at the feedback without your emotions for a moment and see if there is any truth. Remember that God’s word is always truth and if something doesn’t line up with that, it’s not truth.

2. Can I learn something from this? If you’ve established the feedback is true, is there anything you can learn from it. A few of the reviews I received mentioned they’d wished I’d gone into greater depth on the subjects. As I’m writing my next book, I’m making sure I cover each subject thoroughly.

3. What will God say when I stand before Him? Many times, when we consider what God will have to say about an issue when we stand before Him, it puts things into perspective. Pleasing Him is above all else.

This past week I received a 1 star review on my book, Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way. 

It read, “I wanted a book on how to keep and store food, but all I got was a book on God. and how great he is.”

This was my first 1 star review (according to Amazon 1 star means “I hate it”.) At first, I wasn’t thrilled with the review. I do talk about growing and storing your own food in the book, but I also share about God while doing so. There is truth in this statement.

Can I learn something from it? I learned that some readers prefer to have these matters separate. I can try and clarify that more in the future. I can choose to keep God in my books or remove Him, but the latter is not an option I’ll consider.

What will God say when I stand before Him? He’ll say you included me and shared what I’ve done in your life. That’s enough for me. If someone doesn’t like my work because of this, then my books aren’t for them. And that’s okay.

Sometimes we have to accept that there isn’t anything we can do to change the situation and move on. [Tweet this]

We’ll all experience negative feedback, things we’d rather not hear, but it’s how we react to the words that matter. The best filter we have is Jesus and His words. If you become swamped with the negative and its whispers, turn to Him. He has a way of making things startling clear.

How have you learned from negative feedback in your life? What ways do you use to keep it from sinking you?

If you’d like to win a signed copy of Pioneering Today-Faith and Home the Old Fashioned Way, then head over to my dear friend and fellow novelist, Amanda Dykes, website. She’s having a virtual house-warming party and there are a total of 10 books to win and a beautiful pearl bracelet I’ve got my eye on.

This post is featured on The Better Mom.  


Comments

  1. says

    I love your perspective, Melissa, and how you glean from even the difficult reviews. You’re resting in such an amazing place with all of it- you’re an incredible example to me!

    I’m so blessed and honored to have you as part of the housewarming party– thanks for the shout out!

    • says

      Thanks, Amanda. Your encouragement is a blessing and I’m excited to see your writing career unfold. I love the video you made (including the “magic” moment) and your heart shines through it with Jesus firmly in place.

  2. says

    I got my first 1 star review the other week too. I think it’s great that you immediately see that the reason the person didn’t like it is exactly something that you refuse to change. Such a great attitude to have and to learn from.

    • says

      Thanks, Tammy. I try to glean something from every review, even the negative ones, but sometimes I end up learning more about myself and what I stand for. I love that our God uses everything to teach us. He’s in every part of our lives and reveals that to me more and more. Sorry you got a 1 star, but I hope you’re able to get something from it too. :)

  3. says

    I can struggle with the negative too. Recently I have even unsubscribed and “unliked” a couple of blogs due to their negative slant. I know there is a lot of current troubling issues in the raw milk,small farm and in fact the whole sustainability movement but articles that constantly focus on how “screwed up” things are do nothing to motivate or encourage me. I guess I like to hear what people are doing to effect change in their life as opposed to just rehashing problems.

    • says

      Larry, I agree. There is a lot wrong with this world, but focusing on that won’t change anything except our misery level and those around us. Here’s to the glass half full kind of folks.

  4. Sharisa says

    I just found your blog through pinterest literally only about 10 minutes ago, and already you are a BREATH OF FRESH AIR! It is great to hear from creative women that have the kind of faith that I do. Thank you for being true to yourself and your words of encouragement. I look forward to following this blog for a very long time. Have a stellar day!!

    • says

      Sharisa, welcome!! I’m so glad you found stopped by. :) It is important to surround ourselves with others walking in the faith and I’m happy to walk with you. I look forward to getting to know you and thanks for YOUR words of encouragement.

  5. says

    Thanks for this great post. I really like your line of thinking on this. I also want to tell you that I am so glad you got that review. God is the master of the little small seeds. So that person didn’t get what they wanted. Welcome to life baby. But they did get a glimpse of the one they should be craving more than life itself. How awesome is that? I’m excited to see what He will do with that heart. Wouldn’t it be great if somebody came up to you, either in this life or the next and said – I read your book and it led me to Jesus!!!!! Woot woot!!!

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