The Eaton Family

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How Do Believers Receive Criticism?

I was reading a blog by Brain Croft this morning. It is primarily directed toward pastors but, after reading it twice, I realized it had profound implications for all of us as believers. Brain uses a prayer from "The Valley of Vision" to give us sage counsel on the godly way to receive critique, even when it's harsh. So, as you read Brian's posting below, set aside the labels that pertain to pastors and insert a label that says "me". Hope it blesses you like it did me- jk 

A helpful way to understand some of the pressures of
pastoral ministry is the term “mudslinging.”  This is referring to what can be a consistent flow of harsh words, corrections, and criticisms towards the pastor and his decisions.  When there is mud slung, there is the one that slings the mud and there is the one who now has mud on his face as a result.  How does a pastor deal with not just the mud that is now on his face, but the one who threw the mud?  This could be the topic of many posts in the future.  For now, I would like to leave you with a simple word from the Valley of Vision I read this week.  It did not have pastors in view, but all Christians and how God would seem to want each of us to respond when corrected.  No doubt, it hits the mark in how we as pastors should begin to humbly process what can be an avalanche of criticism.  Pastors, read and consider its application in the criticisms of your life and ministry you face and be helped:
Teach me how to take reproofs from friends,
even though I think I do not deserve them;
Use them to make me tenderly afraid of sin,
more jealous over myself,
more concerned to keep heart and life unblameable;
Cause them to help me reflect on my want of spirituality,
to abhor myself,
to look upon myself as unworthy,
and make them beneficial to my soul.
May all thy people know how little, mean, and vile I am,
that they may see I am nothing,
less than nothing,
to be accounted nothing,
that so they may pray for me aright,
and have not the least dependence upon me…
My God use whatever harsh, painful words might be spoken to us this week to make us tenderly afraid of sin and more concerned to live a blameless life, all the while looking to the cross where Jesus Christ alone is our redemption, sanctification, and righteousness.

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