I am convinced that some people in the body of Christ believe they have the “gift” of criticism. No matter what you do, you simply cannot please them. They are never satisfied with your effort and will always seek out something to criticize or complain about. Now, I am not talking about constructive criticism or course correction by someone who truly has your best interests at heart. I am talking about those small-minded people who find their joy and satisfaction in cutting others down, tearing them up, and throwing them out.
Jesus had to deal with such people on a daily basis. No matter what He did, it was never good enough for some. Even His miraculous works of healing brought out the critics!
He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—so that they might accuse him. He said to them, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. (Matthew 12:9-14)
You would think the religious leaders would be filled with awe and joy to witness the divine healing of a crippled man. Instead they were filled with fury, for more reasons than I have space to recount. The point of today’s message is to help you deal with your critics.
Remember, our Lord promised that we would receive the same kind of treatment He received if we would live for Him (see Matthew 10:25 and John 15:20). So bring on the critics, the complainers, the condemners! You can receive their “gifts,” knowing Jesus walked where you walk and has given you all the grace you need to IGNORE A WHOLE LOT MORE! Remember, those who belittle you are simply being little!
Only the power of the Gospel allows you to IGNORE A WHOLE LOT MORE! Because you already have everything you need in Jesus you can let your critics criticize, complain, and condemn all they want. When you rest in the finished work of Jesus, you don’t have to defend yourself anymore. When your identity is rooted in Jesus, you no longer have to explain yourself to your critics. There is no need to “throw your pearls before pigs,” because your purpose, meaning, and significance is anchored in the cross work of Jesus.
Listen, if perfection didn’t please everybody, imperfection never will. If they nailed the only perfect Man to the cross, they certainly won’t hesitate to nail your hide to the barn door! You simply need to focus on Jesus and let the power and grace of the Gospel equip you to IGNORE A WHOLE LOT MORE!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!