What happens when someone launches a salvo of unkind or hateful words at you? Words that cut deeply into your heart and soul. You’re wounded, shocked at their severity. You become angry, resentful, bitter.
I was being considered for an editor’s job I really wanted several years ago. Someone I thought was a friend wrote a letter to the hiring manager telling them hiring me would be a huge mistake. My morals and my lifestyle, according to my “friend”, made me, in his opinion, ill-suited for this job. The hiring manager informed me days later that I was no longer being considered for the job.
I did not handle that rejection well. In fact, my response was one of anger, vengeance and retribution. I paid dearly for my actions and hurt more people in the process.
My blogging friend Tanya Cliff who blogs over at postprodigal.com suggests preening as an effective way for us to deal with insults hurled at us. In her blog post Shake It Off, Tanya explains how ducks preen to coat themselves with protective fluid that allows water to bead on their feathers, ostensibly making them water proof allowing them to “shake off” moisture.
Tanya’s post got me thinking. We can’t preen, but we can cover ourselves with a protective coating of God’s Word and His armor. If we’re submerged in God’s word and clad in the full armor of God, insults or bitter verbal barrages (like on Facebook and Twitter) will roll off our backs, like water off a duck’s back.
Tanya does a much better job of explaining duck preening than I do. Tanya is a gifted writer and expert wordsmith. I’ve only seen one other blogger in six years with such a command of the English language and God-given gift for expressing it. The University of Wisconsin graduate lives in Wisconsin where she homeschools her four creative children. She has used storytelling in its various forms to teach, challenge and inspire them since before they could talk. She recently published her first novel, Tales from the Valdaren – The Prodigal Son, a first in series epic fantasy adventure full of humor and heart. Visit her blog, Postprodigal Son for more of her great writing.