I used to take compliments very good and graciously, until I got people that were somewhat close to me giving me criticism. When we are criticized, and we don't defend ourselves, in fact, we choose to just be offended instead, and criticize in return (whether it's to their face or otherwise), it begins a vicious cyclone that destroys. When we turn to the Lord, however, and pray for the one who has criticized and let the Lord be our protector and defender, it plants a beautiful seed of love that will grow and bloom over time. Once the criticism has taken place, if you let it plant in your heart, it will grow a weed of self punishment.
Over the years after the criticism, because I let it plant inside of me, it seemed like I was continually fighting an inward battle with the bad others could see in me (even if they did not voice it or really see it), instead of seeing and focusing on the good that God saw and sees in me.
My husband wisely recently wrote, "Our security doesn't come from how others treat us; it comes from the relationship we have with the Father through the Savior, Jesus Christ."
Let's not put ourselves in hell because of what others say to us or think about us. Instead, focus on gaining a close relationship with God and Jesus Christ. Then we can be given strength to do what HE expects of us (which I think we'll find is VERY different than what society, or even our close loved ones expect out of us), and to pull and toss the weeds of criticism to give way for the seeds of love.
We have homeschooled our children off and on over the years. I am also into natural birth and eating mostly healthy foods from scratch. When people hear this or get to know this, many of them immediately either think I'm supermom, or a totally irresponsible mom. Most people who speak what they think about it will say, "Wow! You're brave!" and some add an "I could never do that!" From this, I could either say to me, "Someone thinks I am brave! That's cool!" Or I could think, "Wow! I can do something that someone else can't do.!" OR I could say to me, "They are really thinking that I'm crazy." Or, "That's sad that they think they can't do it. I mean, if I can do it, anybody can." Or, "If only they knew that I really don’t do it the way they might do it."
Let's look at it in a different light.
"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40) If the way we think of ourselves and others and the things we do and say to them are the same as doing, thinking and saying them to Christ, then you can see why we might feel like we need to put ourselves in hell when we are criticized, because we feel that we have offended and displeased our Savior. We can also see how if we want to treat the Savior with respect, then we need to treat others AND ourselves with respect. But this also means that when we view others as if they were the Savior and they say something great or nice about us, we can say thank you! We don't need to tell ourselves the story that they really are not saying what they mean. And we don't have to push the good away because of a critical remark that someone else told us about ourselves, even if it was from way back when we were children. Since "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto the least of these my bretheren, ye have done it unto me." is a true and real concept, let's ask ourselves, if the Savior complimented us, would we turn it away and say it isn't true?
The truth is, that truths and lies are always being spoken in our heads or out loud. Which ones are you listening to? YOU need to familiarize yourself with truth so that you can recognize and reject the lies when you hear them. If you can't back it up with scripture, it's most likely a LIE! Just like Satan, if he can't get through to US, will tell someone else lies about us, and hope that they will tell us, God, when HE can't through to us with his truths, will tell someone else and hope that they will tell us the truth!!!!
I figured out that the Lord has been trying to tell me for years that I am brave, but I put more weight on the criticism that I got instead of believing the real truth!!
What has the Lord been trying to tell you? Have you been believing lies because they are easier to believe? They won't be easier to believe in the long run, trust me! Trust God! He loves you infinitely and infinite is your worth and potential!! Believe it! This isn't just me complimenting you!