‘If I were…trying to please men.’ Galatians 1:10 TLB
Some important observations: (1) Criticism is often ego-based. Oswald Chambers wrote, ‘Beware of anything that puts you in the place of the superior person.’ And that’s exactly what criticism does: it highlights you as the one who ‘knows’. Not only that, it gives you the satisfaction of shining the spotlight on others. People find it much harder to see your life when you’re shining the glaring light of criticism on theirs. When you live this way your attitude says, ‘If I can’t make it in this world by what I do, I’ll make it by knowing what you should do better.’ James writes, ‘These things ought not so to be.’ (James 3:10 KJV) And Paul writes, ‘Love each other…and take delight in honouring each other.’ (Romans 12:10 NLT) (2) Criticism can break hearts. Imagine how Moses felt when his brother and sister suddenly turned on him. Because the people closest to us know the details of our lives, we’re always vulnerable to their criticism. Sometimes as parents we leave our children’s lives in shambles by creating a home that’s rife with criticism. Maybe as you read these words you hear the voice of your harshest critic—a parent who constantly put you down. A parent whose words still ring in your memory: ‘You were never any good’; ‘You’ll never amount to anything.’ (3) How should you respond to criticism? Paul answers: ‘If I were…trying to please men, I would not be a…servant of Christ.’ (Galatians 1:10 NAS) Instead of listening to your critics, centre your attention on what God thinks of you and your life will take an upswing. In the final analysis, His is the only opinion that counts.
SoulFood: Gen 32–34, John 14:26–15:4, Ps 147:1–11, Ecc 3:5–8
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