Friday, 1/31/14 Criticism
Good Morning. To cap off C week, our topic for today is Criticism. Someone once told me that the only people who get criticized are those who are doing something. I did not back then, nor do I today, ascribe to that theory. I don’t believe people need excuses in order to criticize. In fact, I believe many will find a reason to do it for the mere fact that they either don’t like us or else have something against us. According to the Merrian-Webster Dictionary, to criticize means, in part, “to express disapproval of someone or something, or to talk about their problems or faults.”
When it concerns criticism, I’m pretty sure we’ve all been on the receiving end, some more frequently than others. On the other hand, folks who don’t do it are about as hard to find as teeth on a chicken because to criticize is as easy as drinking water to most of us. I suppose how we handle it is as equally important to the way we employ it, if at all. I heard of a pastor who was told by one of his members after his sermon: “Pastor, you made a big mistake in grammar in your message today.” He quickly and angrily replied: “And what else did you get out of it?” Yesterday, our topic was convictions. In this case I’m convinced both member and pastor made a mistake. Another pastor I know handled this same matter very differently. When one of his members pointed out several faults in his sermon, he replied: “If what you say is true, would you mind praying for me?” I pray I’ll be as gracious the next time that happens to me.
James 3:2 says: We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check. This truth has both reality and hope. The reality is that we all stumble in many ways, and the hope is that with God’s help, our words don’t have to offend. The truth is that, in Christ, we can have hope in any situation. And if criticism has been a particularly thorny issue to us, we can all believe that the Lord will help us with it from this day forward.
Memory verse for the week: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have : for He hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.(Hebrews 13:5 KJV)