Thank you critics? You might think that I’m punctuation challenged, shouldn’t it be thank you critics? In reflecting on various types of criticism after reading Proverbs 27, I realized God at times brings great blessing even amid life’s critics. Here’s 4 lessons I have picked up along the way:
1. Friends who are critics. These criticisms come from the heart of a friend as Proverbs 27:5-6 says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Thank you that you seek to bring out the best in me, and your desire is that God’s desire be fulfilled in my life.
2. Friendly foes who are critics. You teach me we can disagree without being disagreeable. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.” Thank you that you help me re-examine my priorities and keep them aligned and realigned with God’s will for my life.
3. Enemies who are critics. You teach me to lean into Jesus, to see if I can follow his command from Matthew 5:44 to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Your words stung. We disagreed. In some instances you cursed, but Jesus called for a blessing. Thank you for teaching me the hidden power of Jesus words that make no sense in the midst of a conflict. I discovered great freedom and peace in praying for God to bless you. I was amazed when He did, and even more amazed the blessings He gave me in the process of leaning into Him.
4. Fighting foes who are critics. You teach me the wisdom of Nehemiah’s leadership in Nehemiah 6:3, “I am carrying on a great project and cannot go down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and go down to you?” Thank you for teaching me that sometimes I have to move on and leave you to God’s care and get back to the good work He has called me to do. Jesus died to save everybody, but I cannot reach everyone for Him. I pray He sends someone else to do the job I was unable to do. I will pray for Him to bless you, but I must get back to the great project, the good work He has called me to do.
Thank you critics, I pray for God to bless you with His love and peace. Thank you for how He has used you to teach me and transform me.
So what lessons is God teaching you through your critics?