01.28.21—Loving Criticism!-Proverbs 9:7-10
My friend, may I ask you a question? The Bible tells us that "rebuke a wise man and he will love you." There doesn't seem to be a lot of room in that statement for getting even, is there?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
I’m M. Clifford Brunner
"I wish I had thought of saying that!" How often have you found yourself thinking that you had wished you had been quicker with a response, wittier or simply more creative? There's something about staring down the barrel of criticism, however, that puts us on the defensive and tends to throw our minds into a state of temporary shock. We're vulnerable and, for the moment, wounded. It is only later, when we have time to think about it, we become angry and go on the offensive. "Why didn't I stick up for myself?" We plug ourselves back into the situation and mentally go on a mock attack. No one likes being put down and we vow, if ever we find ourselves in that situation again we'll handle it with more courage and, without a doubt, more wit and intelligence.
Yet, the Bible tells us that "rebuke a wise man and he will love you." There doesn't seem to be a lot of room in that statement for getting even, is there? In fact, being made to look the dummy seems like an invitation to wisdom. If you are one of those people who are not "quick on the trigger" when others start shooting criticism your way, perhaps you're blessed. Quick responses may feel good but they're not always what God wants us to do. Here's some help:
Recently I read a helpful article on the subject of criticism. It stated that we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should learn from it, even when it's not given with the right motivation or the right spirit. It then offered these four suggestions: (1) Commit the matter instantly to God, asking Him to remove all resentment or counter-criticism on your part and teach you the needed lessons. (2) Remember that we're all great sinners and that the one who has criticized us does not begin to know the worst about us. (3) If you've made a mistake or committed a sin, humbly and frankly confess it to God and to anyone you may have injured. (4) Be willing to learn afresh that you're not infallible and that you need God's grace and wisdom every moment of the day to keep on the straight path.
When we're criticized, it's good to accept what's true and take action to correct our faults. The songwriter Don Moen wrote: "Your strength is made strong in our weakness." When you think of it, there is no weaker state than being on the wrong end of criticism. Is there ever a time when we need to rely on our God more? What better time to invite the Holy Spirit in than when we're vulnerable to criticism. The key to being receptive to other people's criticism is whether we choose to "commit the matter" to God or "commit" it to Satan. The choice is ours. When staring down the critic's barrel let the Spirit soften the blow and avoid the bullet of sin. A bullet pierces but a blow only bruises.
We pray. Heavenly Father. When we're criticized, we know that it's good to accept what's true and take action to correct our faults. Lord, there is no weaker state than being on the wrong end of criticism. Is there ever a time when we need to rely on You more? Forgive us when we get angry instead of appreciating the opportunity anger gives us to demonstrate grace and mercy. Send You Holy Spirit in when we're vulnerable to criticism. Help us to be receptive to other people's criticism that we choose to "commit the matter" to You and not to anger and to Satan. The choice is ours. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.