Thank You Critics!

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.

File:Escaping criticism by Caso.jpg

Thanks to WikimediaCommons for Escaping Criticism by Pere Borrell del Caso

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?


1 Comment

Filed under Leadership Lessons

One response to “Thank You Critics!

  1. joy

    This post reminds me of Steven K Scott’s book on Proverbs, ‘The Richest Man Who Ever Lived’ – the most difficult thing for me from that book was treating criticism like secret love. Yes, secret love. He managed to translate that verse that we should treat criticism as we would treat secret love. I have tried hard to do it, and it has actually saved me from reacting badly on a couple of occasions. I also liked Scott’s talk about draining the cup of anger so it does not overflow into destructive behaviour.

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