Amy Carroll » Living Joyfully » When the Haters Hate Your Message

When the Haters Hate Your Message

I had a tough Friday at the end of February when when one of my devotions was released. Listen in to this video on the website to hear some important lessons I learned. Although this was painful to live and process, I believe it’s valuable and relevant to every communicator, whether you speak or write or both.

Here’s an outline of what I share today:

  • My personal application from some harsh critique. This experience has reshaped some of the ways that I think about my personal response to other communicators.
  • Application for all speakers and writers for when we get harsh critique. It’s coming, friends. Oh, it’s coming to you too. You’re welcome. 🙂

Please, please share your experiences. How have you handled being misunderstood or receiving hard-to-handle criticism?


To give you some context, here’s a link to the devotion that got some push-back, “When I Have Zero Time to Spare”. 

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  1. Thank you for your realness Amy! What’s funny is that I was reading the devotional first to get perspective, and I kept thinking to myself, “Where’s the part that people disagree with??” As a fellow enneagram 1 and a recovering people pleaser and someone who is just now learning to set boundaries as an adult–I thought the post was so valid and I kept saying “Yes! yes!” to all of it. Thank you for the post, and thank you for the video, as you showed us what humility looks like and modeled the grace of Jesus to us. I appreciate your voice in this world and all you’re doing to share the good news with so many!

    1. Lol! That’s exactly what Melanie said too. 🙂 Thanks for your sweet encouragement, Johnna!

  2. Adriana Camp says:

    Dear Amy,
    I was able to read the devotional and comment on it earlier.
    This video truly has helped me as I am a speaker and an aspiring writer. I have started doing devotions on Facebook live and I worry quite a bit about criticism. I have not yet received any harsh criticism from anyone, but like you said. “It’s coming because this is what we do.”
    “ When we put ourselves out in the public eye we will, without question, have the opportunity to offend someone without intending to do so. Speak what the Lord lays on your heart.”
    My husband, a minister, spoke these words to me. Aren’t husbands so insightful?! 😉

    I completely enjoyed watching your video and even took some notes. I admire your poise, wisdom, kindness and grace and I see you as a mentor even if I have never met you in person.

    God bless you and keep you and your ministry. In Jesus Name.

    1. Thank you for your encouragement, Adriana! I don’t think anyone likes criticism, but it can help us grow. Years ago, a pastor who was my staff liason told me to consider every piece of criticism carefully. He advised me to keep what helped me grow and toss the rest. That’s been so helpful to me over the years!

  3. Thank you, Amy, for sharing your heart through your thoughtful post and video. Today’s message I know was written to fellow writers to help us understand when the criticism comes. I did read your Proverbs 31 devotional at the time of its release. My first thought was, “Ouch!” It wasn’t that I was thinking of the hurt or embarrassment it might have caused your friend at the time you spoke to to her or that is might have offended your other readers. Instead, I thought about what it must have taken for you to pen those words. In other words, I believed there was a backstory we were all unaware of. Perhaps, just as I have struggled with the inability to say no to the things I want to do or people I enjoy being with, you also were dealing with the awareness that God wanted you to pull back and focus on your family. Perhaps, this relationship required more time and energy than you were able to give it. Strained relationships can be exhausting and full of tension. We may love and care for the other person, but not be the best person for them in this season of both of our lives. That was a painful lesson I learned along the way, that I can’t be all things to all people, and sometimes I may actually be the person my friend doesn’t need in their life right now. Ouch! My encouragement to anyone reading this is to stand true to what God calls you to write while being careful about the timing of its release. Sometimes, we are still feeling the discomfort of the conversation or event. It’s too new, and our own emotions are still raw. Just sitting on a message for a while can help me discern if it needs any re-writes, if it is still pertinent, or if it should not be posted at all. We will all receive backlash at times, so knowing it is a God-given message that He wants me to share helps me when the criticism starts to come. God bless you, sister, and thank you for sharing your heart. I appreciate your vulnerability and the wisdom you shared with us about how to handle the criticism that will come our way.

    1. Dawn, thank you, thank you for your grace-filled comment and giving me the benefit of the doubt. Your insight is keen. There were some extenuating circumstances that I couldn’t write about, and it was painful to be judged for things that weren’t true.

      Also, your advice about timing is spot on. Thanks for taking the time to share with us!

  4. Oh Amy, your sweet spirit shows so much in this video. Thank you for doing it for us. Your courage to both do the devotional and post the video is so helpful. I’m thankful to the Lord that He gave you a heads up about the “feels”. (I love that phrase “all up in the feels”) Please remember those that criticize harshly usually do so out of a place of hurt (maybe they have felt slighted by a friend and your devotional opened a wound). Your devotional and video have helped me examine my own heart, on both sides of the coin. Do I guard my boundaries too tightly? Am I giving God’s calling on my life the boundaries that it deserves to do it in a honorable way? VS Am I allowing distractions to take the margin up in my life? Am I being unfriendly to those who seek to see Jesus in me? My close friends know my calling and give grace to me when I am not available as much. Those who don’t know me as well tend not to. You, sweet sister in Christ, have been a blessing to me today!

    1. Thanks for your sweet comment, Leslie! I’m glad I was able to give you a reciprocal blessing!