Dominion Over Criticism
Dominion Over Criticism
When you step into ministry and into leadership, you paint a target upon your back. The only way to avoid criticism is to do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing, because for every action, there is an equal and opposite criticism. Here is a simple rule of thumb: if you are a leader, you will be criticized, Period.
Criticism hurts when it questions our motives. It has a way of striking you right in the heart. “It will never work, we’ve never done it that way before, and we’re doing fine without it.” Sound familiar? Understand this; as you become more effective in what you do, you become a bigger target for criticism. The danger of being criticized is that it can cause you to develop a wrong attitude and cause you to react with a wrong spirit toward the criticizer. Many aspects define your ministry and your leadership, however, one of the main ways your leadership will be defined is by how you respond to criticism.
A critic is one who points out how imperfectly other people do what the critic does not do at all! In the Gospel of Luke Chapter 7 Jesus is invited into the home of a Pharisee to sit down to meat. And behold, a woman, which was a sinner, brought an alabaster box of ointment and began to wash his feet with her tears, and wipe them with the hairs of her head, and anointed his feet with the perfume.
Immediately the Pharisee developed a critical spirit, and within himself questioned Jesus ministry. The problem in this situation was that it was the Pharisee’s responsibility to wash the feet of a guest, to kiss him, and to anoint his head with oil when he entered into his house.
This Pharisee criticized the woman for doing what he was supposed to do. How did Jesus respond? He forgave her sins. He never allowed the criticism to deter him from his destiny. He always fulfilled his purpose regardless of what “the crowd” said about him. He healed the sick, he raised the dead, and he preached the gospel regardless of criticism and false accusations. Jesus was willing to be misjudged, misrepresented and misunderstood to reach those that hungered and thirsted after righteousness.
How do you deal with criticism? Do you lash out? Do you defend yourself? Do you quit? If you respond with defensiveness, you become mean spirited, and if you return the criticism, you will start a verbal and spiritual war. St Augustine prayed, “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.” George Eliot said, “The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice.” Your ministry will be a result of the choices that you make along the way. Your response to criticism will help determine your destiny.
Sometimes the best response to criticism is no response, at least not verbally. If you keep doing what God has ordained you to do he will validate your ministry. When you seek man’s validation you are simply looking for applause, and you are not committed to the cause. If the situation demands a response, always respond with Love.
The Right Response to Criticism – Stay Focused on the Positive Results: Remember your ministry and its impact is worth staying the course. Stay Focused on the Principles of Ministry: If you know the principles of God’s word, remember them well and never forget whom you represent and whom you truly belong to. Stay Focused on Your Purpose: Don’t lose sight of your purpose and the reason for your ministry. God did not call you to please people; He called you to please Him.
Jesus said to love your enemies, to bless them that curse you, to do good unto them that hate you, and to pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. Why? “That ye may be the children of your Father, which is in heaven.”