I recently had the opportunity to speak at an Developers conference in London. It was my first experience speaking at that level and in the days leading to the conference, I was quite apprehensive knowing that I was speaking on the same platform with seasoned conference speakers. I kept looking at my notes and slides and wondering if I had done enough.
On the day of the conference, I prayed, laid it before the Lord and set out for the venue. Because I was the 4th speaker, I didn't get to speak until noon. The speakers before me were quite impressive which added more pressure on me to present well.
By the time I was introduced, I had lost all the anxiety. God gave the ability to speak with boldness and my talk was rated as one of the most engaging laced with humour. During the lunch break I had pats on the back with attendees telling me they enjoyed my talk. I felt really good! That is, until I read the some of the reviews given on the conference talks on a website provided by the organisers.
While many of those who reviewed my talk said it was a good presentation and that it engaged the attendees, a few felt that my content was too basic and not new to them. As soon as I read that, my spirit sank. I kept imagining what I could have done better and the feelings of not having done enough threatened to overwhelm me.
Afterwards however, I was encouraged when two of the attendees came to me and thanked me for the talk, telling how they were new to the topic I discussed and that I had encouraged them to look into utilising it in their projects.
Someone else also responded to those who who rated the content of the talk as basic, by remarking that not everyone who came to the conference were experienced developers and that what my talk did was to give those new to the topic, a good introduction as well as showing them through my demo how it is done. In his opinion, it was not only a great talk but it was very useful indeed.
My experience at that conference reminded me of how Jesus must have felt when He went to Nazareth (Matthew 13:53-58) He has been traveling all over the place preaching, teaching and performing miracles. He came back to His hometown so that His kinsmen could benefit from the grace and anointing of God on His life. Unfortunately, they did not see Him as Jesus the Christ but as Jesus the carpenter's son and son of Mary. They bluntly refused to believe in Him because they felt that they knew Him well enough.
The sad outcome of their behaviour was that Jesus could not do many miracles there because of their unbelief (Mark 13:58) He however continued on His journey and continued to heal many of those who came to Him. Was Jesus criticised? Many times. Did He get discouraged? Never.
When next you are criticised, review what you have done and if adjustments and improvements are necessary, make them. Otherwise, keep moving. Jesus did not stop going around doing good just because people opposed Him, He had a purpose and moved on to accomplish that purpose.
Steve Popoola is the editor of Biblepraise Newsletter and the founder of the Biblepraise Fellowship Online at http://www.biblepraise.org. He lives in Kent, United Kingdom, where he works as an IT Professional. He currently serves as a Worship Leader as well as Home Group Leader in his local church and on occasion, speaks at invited events. He is the founder of the BiblepraiseFellowship Online Ministry and Moderator/Editor of the Biblepraise Newsletter. He can be reached through His email address, firstname.lastname@example.org