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Have you ever been criticized? I think everyone has. Let’s be more specific, have you ever been verbally wounded by Christians? The answer for many is yes. I know I have and most who have spent any time in any church have as well. There was an older man named Clark at the church I served in Indianapolis who said something to me that helped tremendously. I had received some criticism that I felt was unjustified. Clark reminded me that Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, was severely criticized. He reminded me that if Jesus, who lived perfectly was criticized, I who make mistakes and sin am guaranteed to be criticized; sometimes when I deserve it and sometimes when I don’t. His words got me thinking about the criticism Jesus received:
He was accused of blasphemy.
He was accused of being demonic.
He was called a drunk.
He was even mocked as he was dying on the cross.
Remarkably, Jesus endured and stayed on mission. He found peace and comfort in the powerful relationship He had with God the Father. Jesus genuinely lived his earthly life for an “audience of one.” What I have learned about criticism is that sometimes I should listen because it’s accurate and true and should be treated as a gift to me. An unwanted gift from a person who doesn’t care about me, but a gift all the same. Other times I should listen to criticism because the person genuinely loves me and really is offering constructive criticism that will help. But sometimes criticism is inaccurate, and destructive. In those cases I must learn from Jesus and live for an “audience of one.” If what I’m doing pleases God then that is more than enough.

Derek Dickinson
Journey Christian Church

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