My husband and I were recently in a grocery store. As a retired produce manager, he usually picks out the fruit. But this time while he was in another aisle I picked up two oranges. He returned, examined my oranges, and found a bruised spot! He began to criticize my fruit picking.
What do you do with criticism? Are there people in your life who criticize you? Are you critical at times? Criticism is expressing disapproval by pointing out faults or shortcomings. When we do this, we are engaging in criticism.
Dealing with Criticism Daily
Jesus met with criticism daily: the Pharisees rebuked him, and even his disciples sometimes criticized him. We read in Mark 6:30-37 that when thousands followed him, Jesus had compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and so he taught them many things. When the disciples saw that the crowd was hungry, they wanted to send them off to buy food. Jesus had other plans: he told the disciples to feed them. “That would take more than half a year’s wages!” they protested. “Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?” They only saw the problem, not Jesus.
Was a critical spirit bothering them that day? Jesus had performed a miracle upon miracle before them, yet they couldn’t imagine a way to feed this multitude. Jesus asked them to check their resources, and they found a boy willing to share his lunch: five loaves and two fish.
He had the disciples participate in the miracle that day, telling them to have everyone sit down.
“So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus spoke a blessing and broke the loaves. Then He gave them to His disciples to set before the people. And He divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied.” (Mark 6: 40-42.)
Responding to Criticism
I wish I could say that I responded like Jesus that day in the grocery store when my husband was critical of my fruit selecting! Here is what Jesus did: he assessed the situation, brought order to it and solved the problem.
Beloved, when we encounter criticism, there are three things to do.
2. Make sure we are not overacting to the criticism.
3. Forgive, let go and give God the situation.
We must pray for the one who is being critical. We must also make sure we are not overreacting by asking ourselves if we are tired or lonely or already angry. Then, we need to forgive the criticism – no matter how ugly – and let it go. Father God, thank you for the people in our lives even when they are sometimes critical. Help me to respond rightly to criticism. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Who do you need to pray for that has been critical of you?
Hi I am Diana Rockwell from Ramona, California. I am a daughter of the King of Kings, a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a retired nurse. In addition I serve on a Freedom in Christ ministry team where I am a trained encourager and I pray for people who are struggling with lies that are keeping them in bondage. I have taught women’s bible studies and shared my testimony in Nazareth on a mission trip to Israel where several people came to know Christ as a result. My personal weight loss journey is published in Tracie Miles book “Your Life Still Counts” released in October, 2014. I love to share the message of freedom in Christ and that we are redeemed. My blog is http://www.diana2rockwell.com.