Whose Voice Are You Listening To?

How to keep criticism from derailing us from God’s calling
Whose Voice Are You Listening To?

We live in a world that has no shortage of opinions. We post Yelp reviews about restaurants we love or hate, we like things on Facebook and favorite them on Twitter. The world we live in wants to critique, and review, and quantify everything. Every experience is rate-able, up for review, and open for critique. How many stars, how many likes, how many page views?

I'm a mom, and I'm a writer. That means that between those two roles, I live in a high feedback zone. In my experience, being a mom is like constantly wearing a sign that says: "Dear Stranger, please tell me how to parent my kids."

And there are some great things about being a writer. Here are two:

1. You get to wear your pajamas to the office.

2. The office is the couch.

There are also some less than great things about being a writer, namely one: reviews. To me, reading reviews is one of the hardest parts of my job. What one person loves is what another person hates. What one person thinks is amazing another person calls total failure. So we wear ourselves out trying to respond and change ourselves according to everything that anyone says, and we end up so tired and so far from God's calling for us.

Your job might be different from mine—it might not involve being evaluated quite so publicly, but no matter what you do, there are all kinds of voices, metrics, and opinions. Many of us are in danger of chasing after the approval of others, living for the affirmation that comes from likes and good reviews. But letting yourself be defined by anything other than the good God who created you on purpose and for a purpose is as meaningless as chasing the wind.

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