Critics…gotta love them, right? The truth is we all have them. If you are in leadership, you have a ton of critics. Many struggle with the idea of critics in the church, but we quickly forget that people act like PEOPLE FIRST and Christians second.
While we can be so quick to get frustrated with our critics, we have to think beneath the surface. Our first inclination is to throw them across the room or snap back with sharp words. If you desire to take a more “spiritual” approach, you may try to justify praying an imprecatory prayer like David did in the Psalms, praying that get a taste of their own medicine.
In his book “Pathetic or Proactive Christianity?”, author Stan Belyshev says the following things about critics:
– Those who criticize frequently have accomplished nothing in their lives but will gladly criticize those who have.
– Those who criticize are usually suffering from a personal identity crisis and have yet to discover their God-given identity and purpose on this earth.
– Those who criticize are frequently motivated by jealousy.
– Those who criticize are usually insecure and full of fear.
– Those who criticize are known to harbor resentment and unforgiveness.
– Those who criticize may be doing so blindly, as a result of their own brokenness and emptiness.
We are quick to consider all the first five statements here, dismissing all critics as “bitter old hags” or “crotchety men” whose sole purpose is to spew their wicked venom wherever they go. While some people have wicked intentions, many are broken, empty people who have no idea how to process that. We often want to write the “Eeyores” out of the story, they teach us a lesson in patience and love.
When you consider your critics, I challenge you to take some time to look a little deeper. Respond rather than react. Consider yourself. There may be a strong critic looking you in the mirror.