“You got a D- Ms. Horton”. My college professor told me one day after class when I asked him for my overall grade in my Accounting 101 course.
“What do you mean D-?” I said with as much respect as I could despite my mood. You see I had been busting my behind trying to finish a twenty- five-page dissertation and study for semester exams that week. I was exhausted, hungry (because college was the poorest time of my life) and frankly I needed a bit of good news. Unfortunately, I was not getting it here.
“Ms. Horton, you are a very bright student (I always disliked the word “bright”) and you are great with passing in homework and doing any extra credit.” He says to me while not cracking a smile. “But you test poorly, and your grades are barely passing. You may have to take this course again.”
This was my sophomore year at Norfolk State, and I thought I was passing this particular course. I knew I was not getting straight A’s, but I was shocked at hearing D-. That was a horrible grade. And as I let it all seep in, I realized I had just received my first of many negative feedbacks. What would your reaction be?
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
As I have gotten older, I have become thicker skinned when it comes to negative feedback. That professor’s words, shocked me, but also put a fire in my belly to study harder, concentrate more, and focus more on my goals. And I will admit, at that time it took me a full week to get over myself and focus on pulling my grade up. Now, I find that as soon as I get negative feedback, a peaceful feeling comes over me, and God overwhelms me. He has always given me the provision for the positive comeback.
Many of us face negative feedback from employers, customers, bill collectors, strangers and often our loved ones. We are all not perfect, and we all will face dilemmas that test all of our abilities especially if it’s something we are not familiar with. Again, I say God is always providing growth, and we tend to grow most during trials.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
While living in this world, we will constantly be tested physically, mentally and spiritually. Typically, we usually find ourselves fighting the never-ending battle between ourselves and God. Whether at school, on your job, social events, or at church we will find ourselves up against negative people or situations.
Now I understand, we all need a good dose of criticism to keep us honest, but most of us have not been taught how to handle any of it. This is why, God’s strength shines brightest in our weak times. Looking past our own understanding is always the hard part.
Finally, I do want to say that I ended up passing that Accounting course with a solid B (Nope, it was not an A, but dag on it, it was the most beautiful B I had ever seen) I do not think I felt more accomplished before that moment and it only happened because I was forced to see the more I had to give. God forces us into sometimes impossible situations to bring about the greater within us that we tend to not tap into. Then we are able to testify the true statement of, “How I got over!”
I challenge you this upcoming week to let that negative feedback fuel your positive comeback because you are stronger, smarter, and braver than you think. You definitely got this!