Please, Please…..Tell Me Again!
We now live in the age of belligerent criticism. There are no filters, no lack of pejorative charges, no boundaries to the names used to describe one’s adversary, and no limit to the depths to which folks will stoop to find a way to belittle another person. Our tongues are swift to speak evil and create wounds that are lethal. In most of public life today, there is a level of antagonism that is beyond anything common decency would stand.
Because of that rampant spirit of rancor, it has created an equally defiant spirit of recourse that can reveal a heartened heart. Once we are convinced that “we” are the good guys and “they” are all liars and despicable, then that grid is laid across every relationship. In other words, anyone who agrees with “me” has true wisdom and understanding. Anyone who disagrees and would dare to correct or criticize “me” is mean-spirited, arrogant, and just plain out of touch. The LORD expects us to “love our enemies”, “bless those who curse us”, pray for those who despitefully use us”. I know what you are saying right now, and I agree…I don’t like that either. But that is what He commanded. Consider these words from Solomon….
Proverbs 15:31 – The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Proverbs 27:6 –Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy. Proverbs 29:11 – A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.
Proverbs 8:13 – The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
Proverbs 9:8 – Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
Criticism is always difficult to accept, but if we receive it with humility, and a desire to improve our character, it can be very helpful. Only a fool does not profit when he is rebuked for his mistakes.
Several years ago, I read a helpful article on this subject. It stated that when we are criticized, we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should learn from it, even when it is not given with the right motivation and in the right spirit.
The article then offered these four suggestions:
- Commit the matter instantly to God, asking Him to remove all resentment or counter-criticism on your part and teach you the needed lessons.
- Remember that we are all great sinners and that the one who has criticized us does not begin to know the worst about us.
- If you have made a mistake or committed a sin, humbly and frankly confess it to God and to anyone you may have injured.
- Be willing to learn afresh that you are not infallible and that you need God’s grace and wisdom every moment of the day to keep on the straight path.
When we are criticized, let’s accept what is true and act upon it, thereby becoming a stronger person. He who profits from rebuke is wise. (Copied).