When the Critics Come Calling

Today’s scripture: Psalm 7 (NRSV) (The Message) (KJV) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Kevin Konkle):

Bishop T. F. Tenney once said, “Half-truths are like half-bricks, they can do more damage because they can be thrown further.” Whether you have been attacked with half-truths, truth-minus-context, or outright falsehoods, it’s never fun to be talked about in a negative way. Unfortunately, it happens to all of us somewhere, sometime. However, it seems to have hit a peak with David at this point in Psalms 7; all kinds of negative things were being said about him. All the criticism was getting on his last nerve when he finally turned to God in utmost desperation for help.

We can all relate to what David was going through. How many times have you heard what people were saying behind your back and thought, “Well, goodness my life’s not nearly that exciting!” I have been there before. During those times of great distress with ‘certain someones’ when you want to forget your anger management classes…don’t. I have found 3 keys to dealing with criticism that have helped me and hopefully will help you:

1. Consider the source — The person that is pointing out your supposed faults… are they experts in overcoming the temptation they so wish to judge you on? What are their credentials?

2. Consider the substance — The person may have the facts all mangled, but maybe there are some lessons you could learn from the incident that could make you more effective?

3. Course corrections — If you determine you could improve your approach, your actions, or work on perceptions a bit…do it.

Then move on. Don’t dwell on the criticism or it will eat you alive. Remember, bitterness is an acid that always destroys it’s own container. You can seldom control what everyone thinks of you, but that shouldn’t be our goal. Reputation is what people think of us, but character is what God knows us to be.

Prayer for the day: God help me to put my reputation and trust, where I put my soul — in your hands. Amen

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.