“Don’t take it personally.” Have you ever had someone say those words when everything seemed personal?  If you’re like me, those are fighting words!  After all, we’re talking about our lives, marriages, children, and businesses. We’re talking about everything that we hold dear.

Don’t take it personally.  Are you serious?

Friends, it may not be what we want to hear, but it’s what we need to hear. (Yes, I ducked as I typed those words.)

We should hear, “Don’t take it personally” in both good and hard times. It’s vital that we hear these words when we’re living in our highest moments too. When all our work finally pays off, and we’re enjoying the benefits. We need to have someone who’s brave enough to say, “Don’t take it personally.”

This past summer, John Maxwell was reminding me that we’re never as good as our success and never as bad as our failures. He challenged me to not take life personally. I decided to accept the challenge and use the quiet moments of reflection to ponder the importance of not taking things personally.  To help me, I’ve posted a note saying “Good, bad, high or low don’t take it personally” on my bathroom mirror.


Let’s cultivate this type of authenticity in our lives and relationships.

I’m not suggesting that we disengage or stop living purpose-driven lives. What I am suggesting is that we live invested lives instead of “taking things personally” lives!

You may be asking, How is this even possible? Great question! Let’s talk about this more.

Invested People vs. Taking it Personally People

For this conversation investing is the practice of giving. Invested people pour into another person or the project at hand. A person who is taking things personally is putting on the opinions of others. They allow circumstances or people to determine their worth or lack of worth.

Ponder that for a moment.

When we invest in the people God’s put before us or the tasks He’s given us, we become invested people. We bounce back in disappointment and overcome obstacles. We stand tall in moments of rejection, or when someone has spoken ill of us. Invested people are giving people.

Individuals who are “taking it personally” people are “taking” people. People who take the moments of success or failure and wear them just like they would wear their favorite dress. They take credit for the results and become the opinions of others. They are result focused instead of duty focused.

One of my favorite quotes is from John Quincy Adams. “Duty is ours. Results are God’s.”

“Don’t take it personally” just may be the most powerful four words we could apply to our lives. What could we accomplish if we focused on our duty and not on the results? How could grace be seen in our lives if we didn’t take things personally?

Until our next chat,

Mrs. Joseph Wood

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