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.
11 thoughts on “Considering Your Critics”
I love the heart of this message that you are bringing to the world. To know and accept and understand that the negativity of others is a sign of a broken nature and that the answer for that brokenness is to respond with love and kindness is truly the sign of a mature heart and loving connection with the world around us. Truly there is much wisdom to be found in sharing love with others instead of continuing the cycle of negativity they are creating.
I believe that if more people were able to open their hearts and see the world through the lens of love, that the world would truly be a radically different place to experience.
Thank you for being such a light in the world and shining so brightly as to shepherd others to a gentler way of being that can bring peace and love to the world. Something every believer in the Almighty should revere and exalt.
Much love and happiness and joy and peace to your moments. May you continue to lead those around us as beautifully as you are so capable of!
I always appreciate your kind words and encouragement.
This is beautiful, Matthew. Yes, broken people are often critical~and are probably harder on themselves than we realize. As shared above, I listen with an open heart and mind. It took years of practice and daily, I pray for wisdom. We live in a more critical world now, to me at nearly 52, than I did in my 30’s. We want to cancel before communicating. Jesus listened. He had critics and loved anyway. I let emotions subside so I can live by truth. It’s so important to not take things personally. It’s hard to let it go at times. But then, through prayer and intense empathy, I remember the things that make us all humans~the heart. For some you wonder if they have a heart or any kindness? Like you said, they were and are the most unloved. Let’s keep shining our lights to a broken world! Keep shining and sharing! God bless you and yours!
So many wonderful thoughts here! I always appreciate your comments and contributions.
That’s so kind, Matthew. I always appreciate yours, too!
I happened on this blog, and there you are. I remember you. May God give you courage to speak the truth, and to lead your congregation. Two people in agreement puts 10,000 to flight. This is a verse that I am reminded of, and you know where it is in the Bible. A three fold cord isn’t easily broken. I do love the idea of saying these two thoughts back to God. I love praying with one other, but most of my praying is solo. So with this thought, I believe God answers prayer, and He has perfect timing. I was taught to Trust, and Obey. Dad would put us over his shoulders, and hold us by his hands. I learned to trust him, and I would extend my arms, and fly. I was in his hands, and he never dropped me. You see, when you apply this to God, we don’t fly, but He guides us and we must absolutely trust Him. We walk by faith, not by sight, and the Word is special. Smile. My dad was a minister, my nephew is a minister, and my husband is a minister. How about that? I gave my life to Christ at my Mom’s leading, and I surrendered again at 12, and later when I was much older. He has us in His hands, and we don’t always soar, but two in agreement puts 10,000 to flight, and three is a cord that isn’t easily broken.
Thank you for dropping by and commenting! I remember you well and our interaction. You have always provided a balance of encouragement and redirection when necessary. I appreciate you.
I ran across what I wrote, again. Smile. Hope you are doing well where you minister now. Ed, and I work as a team. I clean, and pray, and he studies.
My wife has been right alongside me too.
Yes, and this helps the congregation. Two in agreement put 10,000 to flight. I told Ed about you. He said, “You have been talking with a Pastor, and his wife?” Tomorrow is Sunday, all day. We are praying .
I appreciate you and Ed. God bless you as you minister to others and glorify our Savior.