Someone has said, "If you live for the encouragement of people, you'll die by their discouragement."
I love that quote. It's so revealing.
Think about it, if we have to wait until someone praises us for our efforts before we feel good about what we've done, we're going to tire quickly and become unnecessarily enslaved. At the same time, if we're hoping that no one is waiting in the weeds to say something discouraging, we're going to find ourselves frequently paranoid and eventually disappointed.
Feedback is great. But if we nervously pine after instant encouragement or guard ourselves against overly enthusiastic criticism from others, we're going to ride a very bumpy, emotional rollercoaster.
Look, people matter. People matter in that they are to be loved and cared for and prayed over. But... people aren't meant to be the Simon Cowell's [think American Idol] of our lives. We're not to look to them to hold up a perfect "10" in regards to our parenting. Or a mediocre "4" in regards to our career choice.
Be careful. Don't let the opinions of people ruin your joy. People aren't perfect, and neither are their opinions of you perfect.
There's no way for them to totally understand all that God is accomplishing in your life. How could they perfectly tell if your parenting deserves a ridiculous "3" or an incredible "9?" They can't. And you know what?
Neither can you.
You can't even judge rightly your own life, let alone hand over the keys to let someone else judge you or rate you.
So, don't hang on to every encouraging or discouraging opinion as if your personal worth depends on it. Accept encouragement, you could never have enough. But don't let it foolishly feed your joy. Prepare yourself for discouragement from others, but don't let it manhandle and destroy your confidence.
Remember what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
God's working in you. He knows what He's doing. He has a plan. It's perfect. And only His opinion truly matters. His opinion will never change. He loves you as much today as He will 500 years from now.
You Are Loved!