Always LovedEven before he made the world, God loved us and chose us.
Top Christian Music Videos
Honest words can be painful, but what do your criticisms amount to? (Job 6:25).
Have you, like me, ever had a person in your life who in many ways is a friend, but is also your toughest critic? If so, do you wonder how to respond properly to this person?
In my case, I know my friend means well, but she often forcefully sends critical comments without seeking my consent to receive her insights. With that in mind, I so appreciate how Paul pursued the consent of his friend Philemon (Philemon 1:14).
When my “frenemy” sent me an unsolicited email a few weeks ago, listing my faults and suggesting that I have only two areas of giftedness, naturally I was upset. Yet, rather than praying and asking God how to handle the insults, I did a Google search. I looked up “bully” and other synonyms that I felt described my overbearing, highly opinionated friend.
It was easy to find words and articles to confirm that my friend was speaking inappropriately to me, but I was still left without a solution. So I called a wise friend. She suggested that instead of turning to the Internet, I turn to God. “Ask the Lord to help you filter the letter,” she said. “Ask Him to help you cling to what is true and expose the lies. Ask God if the enemy is trying to tap into lies you believe about yourself through your friend’s letter.”
Her advice reiterated the proverb that states, “Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket” (Proverbs 25:11). It’s good for us to listen to advice (v.12), but we should ask God to help us discern whether or not the criticism is valid. If our messenger is trustworthy, even if the message brings conviction and points out areas where we need change, it will yield refreshment (v.13).
Make sure you gain permission before bringing criticism to a friend.
What do you think is the difference between constructive criticism and destructive criticism? (See Proverbs 15:31.)
When insulted by a friend, consider this passage by Andrew Peterson, “What defense have I but to flee? Not to flee from the enemy, but to the protection of the King” (Behold the Lamb, 2011). How can you be more Christlike in your criticism?
- Always Loved - Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us....read more
- Run with It! - Jesus is the author of life....read more
- Sacrificial Love - What does it mean for you to carry your cross?...read more
- Autograph of the Ordinary - Do you accept the truth that God is in your ordinary work?...read more
- The Gift of Love - How should you respond to such a great love?...read more
- Warm Welcome - How does warm hospitality reflect God’s loving heart?...read more
- In the Gap - What has God equipped you with to intercede for others?...read more
- Confession and Blessing - How does repentance reveal our faith and trust in Jesus?...read more
- Breaking the Mold - How are you sharing Jesus with the next generation?...read more
- Diseased Hearts - What are the implications of only God truly knowing the heart and being able to cure it?...read more
- To Make Them Better - To follow Jesus means we allow God to transform the whole of our life....read more
- Looking for Work? - Consider how God has uniquely equipped you....read more
- Out of the Blue - God intervened before we were aware of our need....read more
- Joy and Sadness - Is there sadness in your life you need to embrace?...read more
- Passion Unleashed - What gifts and talents has God given you?...read more
- Thankful for What? - How do your difficult times more clearly illustrate God’s power and redemption?...read more