By Karen Polich
Are you facing a critic in your life? You just can’t please everyone. You try and try, but you can’t seem to get it right no matter what you do. Sometimes, criticism follows you despite your best efforts.
Continuing his Days of Suffering sermon series from the book of Job, Pastor Michael Cook describes four filters to use when dealing with criticism. Listen to the complete series via podcast here.
When the criticism starts, we want to immediately respond. Defending ourselves and proving that the critic is wrong often brings more trouble to the situation. In Job 12-13, we learn from Job how to handle a critic.
Filter criticism responsively. Reacting to criticism inevitably leads to regret. When forced to answer critics, we must first examine our own heart. The response should come without anxiety or retribution. Job speaks into the heart of his critic with caution.
Filter criticism Godwardly. We can’t always fix the situation. Our focus needs to shift from the critic to God.
If you please God, it does not matter who you displease…but if you displease God, it does not matter who you please!
Filter criticism personally. Ask the hard question, “Is there any truth to what is being said?” This is a tough question. We see Job seek God for clarification on the matter of his own heart.
Filter criticism spiritually. We need to look at the criticism in the light of who God is and what His Word says. When we become more impressed with the greatness of God and less focused on the critic, it changes the view of the situation. The sting of criticism lessens when we are overwhelmed by God.
There is much to learn from Job about responding to critics even in our darkest hour. We have the opportunity to learn from his anguish how to address the critics. When criticism abounds, are you ready to focus on God first?