Have you ever been criticized for anything? If you answered “no,” then I need your secret! Or could it be that if we never encountered criticism, it means we had never attempted anything worthwhile?
Jesus told the disciples that they would have trouble in this world.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
And that people hated him so they will hate us too.
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. John 15:18
What do we do with criticism?
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, Matt. 5:44
I find it interesting that there are two categories of people in this verse. The first are “our enemies.” They are easy to spot a mile away. No one has to guess who their enemies are. You just know.
But then there are “those who persecute you.”
These are the people who may not be our “enemies.” Sometimes persecution comes from our closest relationships. Our friends. Our neighbors. Our church members. Our children. Our parents. Our siblings. Fellow Christians.
Their criticism hurts.
I’m guessing you know what I’m talking about. So I’ll just move on to the praying Jesus tells us to do.
A Prayer When You Have Been Criticized
Some hurtful things were said today.
You already know about them; You were there.
I want to curl up inside myself and never come out again
Until I remember how You suffered shame for me.
I wish I could sulk and pout until all was made right
I feel like crying out “Unfair!”
Except Your example shines so brightly I can’t.
So I come before You asking for peace
And I humbly pray for the ones who have criticized me.
You are the Judge of their hearts…and mine.
May my heart forgive the wrong and my mind focus on the right.
As Your grace has poured lavishly on me,
may Your grace pour through me
and over the one who has hurt me.