Are You Willing to be Criticized?
Happy New Year Everyone!
We are 2 weeks into 2013. Has it taken you by storm? Do you feel more in control of things in your life than you did last year? Or do you feel like you are being swept out to sea by the wave of public opinion?
Those of us who stood for truth during the last election were bitterly demonized for our positions. We were called divisive, unpatriotic, trouble-makers, fabricators, spoil sports, poor losers, etc. Even members of our own families said such things.
As you all know life is a spiritual battle. If you did not personally experience anything like this, then I would say that you need to get in the fight and quit watching the parade of life pass you by. In Real Estate we call the silent majority “Looky Lews;” people who come to an Open House just to see it, with no interest at all in making an offer, getting involved. Are you just a “stander-by?”
I recently watched a video posted on Facebook by David Wells about the spiritual forces grinding down Americans. Throughout the video I am thinking ahead about what one person can do to rebuttal. Suggestions were given at the end of just that. One of them was “to be willing to be criticized.” Most people I know would shudder at the thought. Criticism, whether giving it or receiving it, has been completely vilified in our society. Being able to be criticized for what you believe takes integrity. Knowing what you believe to be true and truthful makes being criticized a badge of courage rather than one of disgrace.
Did you know that the biggest Critic in life is God and His Word, the Bible. All the great believers throughout the ages were severely criticized for their words and deeds. Most of them were accused of heresy, including our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The political leaders of his time were out to murder him from the get go, just because some Persian men said they were looking for him who was born to be the King of the Jews. He hadn’t even done anything to deserve death and didn’t when they finally succeeded thirty years later! Are you willing to die for what you believe? Is what you believe willing to die for?
One of my fellow-labourers in the Word, John Lynn, has done a few teachings on “Words—Words Have Meaning.” People live and die by words everyday. In order for words to have any affect on anyone, they have to be written or spoken. If you are not into writing, then you need to be into speaking. People need to know what you believe; your neighbors need to know what you stand for. What are you afraid of? Criticism, Embarrassment? Being afraid to be who you are is the worst.
We see this in the pre-resurrection Peter. He actually denied Jesus six times, but 3 will suffice. Many of the men who followed Jesus before his murder were in hiding afterwards for four days. They were scared to death. They were probably wondering what they got themselves into, why they didn’t just leave well enough alone and keep doing what they were doing before they met that troublemaker, Jesus. Now they were all in the stew. What had they done?
What they did, is what we need to do: stick our necks out for what we believe. Be willing to be criticized and if need be be willing to have our necks chopped off for doing so. The husband being the head of the wife, is just that: we stick our necks out for our wives just as Christ stuck/sticks his neck out for us. Don’t feel helpless, it is God in Christ in You. You are a majority wherever you go, whatever you do and whatever you say. If God be for us (and He is) who can be against us?