Mark 2:18

Handling Criticism

 

Read: Mark 2:18

 

Reflect:

Jesus had critics. The scribes were the religious leaders of the day, maintainers of the status quo, the religious hall monitors. They were there to find something wrong with this young Rabbi. Perhaps they were squinting their eyes and turning up their noses. Maybe they were offended by the informality and simplicity with which He was teaching, as well as, by the way the common people loved Him. The crowd that day could sense the tension, not that they knew what it was, but they sensed something was going to happen between Jesus and His critics. Critics always create uneasiness.

 

Now it’s the Pharisees, the attacks shift from theory to practice and from authority to influence. Always subtle, the Pharisees did not come directly at Jesus with their criticism. They pull His disciples aside hoping to plant a seed of doubt. Someone once said it takes two people to destroy you – an enemy to slander you and a friend to tell you about it. Friends and enemies get together to out Jesus on the spot. They will do the same to you as well. Jesus knew how to handle His critics.

 

Jesus didn’t ignore the criticism. He acknowledged their comments and responded to them. Jesus didn’t, however, return criticism with criticism. He clarified the truth by challenging their misunderstanding of scripture and tradition. Jesus did not allow criticism to stop Him. He could have kept the peace by placating His critics. Instead, He kept preaching and healing. He did what was right, regardless of the consequences. Jesus answered His critics with results. 

 

The greater your obedience to God, the more critics you will have. The temptation is to take it personally. The disciple must always remember it’s your allegiance to God that makes you a target. All criticism is the death-cry of the non-achiever. See to it that you don’t quit on the Will of God because of the sniping words of others.

 

Respond:

Take a few moments and empty your heart of the criticism from others and allow that space to be filled by the grace of God.