Dealing With Your Critics

These three helpful words on how to handle criticism came across my reader recently:

The Best Response to Harsh Criticism

We should all be open to constructive criticism: to our preaching, or any aspect of our pastoring. But what about when its downright destructive? Maybe we need to learn from Nehemiah’s example:

“Nehemiah didn’t pay much attention to these complainers but went right on with the work. That’s the best thing to do. If you take time away from your work to listen to everybody who wants your attention, you will never get anything done. Nehemiah got his encouragement from prayer and the promises of God, and the occasional complaints of some of the people didn’t upset him.” (Warren Wiersbe, commenting on Nehemiah 4)

[HT:  Unashamed Workman]

Ignoring What They Said

Jesus is in the middle of performing a miracle in Mark 5:36, and some doubters start to voice their cynicism.
To describe Jesus’ reaction, Mark uses a phrase that ministered to me deeply last week:

Ignoring what they said…

Then, of course, Jesus goes on to heal the little girl, in spite of the surrounding doubt, teaching us a valuable lesson:
In order to witness the miraculous, sometimes you’ll have to ignore what they said.

Maybe some people are perpetually misjudging your motives, and nothing you say seems to sway their verdict.
Ignore what they said.

Perhaps someone in your past filled your head with insecurity about who you could never be, and what you could never do. (Several people told me adamantly I’d fail as a church planter.)
Ignore what they said.

Sometimes the voice of doubt is internal-and we struggle to tune out the static of condemnation, faithlessness, and worst case scenarios.
Ignore what they said.

If any voice is raising itself in contradiction to the will and Word of God concerning you, be like Jesus.
Practice selective hearing.
Ignore what they said.

[HT:  Steven Furtick]

Pray For Those Who Criticize You

The first thing we are called to do when we think of others as our enemies is to pray for them.  This is certainly not easy.  It requires discipline to allow those who hate us or those toward whom we have hostile feelings to come into the intimate center of our hearts. People who make our lives difficult and cause us frustration, pain, or even harm are least likely to receive a place in our hearts.  Yet every time we overcome this impatience with our opponents and are willing to listen to the cry of those who persecute us, we will recognize them as brothers and sisters too.  Praying for our enemies is therefore a real event, the event of reconciliation…There is probably no prayer as powerful as the prayer for our enemies. But it is also the most difficult prayer since it is contrary to our impulses.

~ Henri Nouwen [HT:  Shaun Groves]

3 thoughts on “Dealing With Your Critics

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