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.”
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.
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.
Melissa K. Norris inspires people's faith and pioneer roots with her books, podcast, and blog. Melissa lives with her husband and two children in their own little house in the big woods in the foothills of the North Cascade Mountains. When she's not wrangling chickens and cattle, you can find her stuffing Mason jars with homegrown food and playing with flour and sugar in the kitchen.