Some criticism needs to be ignored to death. No doubt about it! It is petty, unfounded, and more properly called “random opinion syndrome.” Some people just rattle on about things they know little or nothing about as if the world can’t wait for them to turn their brains inside out and dump the dust.
Perhaps I will surprise you to mention that most criticism should be seen as an opportunity, even when the source of the criticism is antagonistic, off-base, and ridiculous.
Recently, someone criticized my own ministry to the point of saying that I am “deceiving people” and operating in “demonic influence and control.” Although the accusations were baseless and ill-founded, the person incapable of speaking about the subject with an understanding of how things actually work in spiritual reality, I respond to the opportunity (not the person) by reviewing our ministry’s effectiveness and efficiency to “get God what He wants.”
In other words, criticism can be an opportunity to refocus upon assignment or a distraction from assignment. Becoming defensive, taking things personally as an affront, or wasting valuable energies of the soul reacting can be counterproductive and push us right into the strategy of hell. Refocusing and resetting our priorities and measuring how well we are fulfilling our assignment can be healthy and powerful!
A couple of emails showed up to give me a link to watch posted videos produced by another guy with an axe to grind, called to correct everybody else, fix what wrong with God’s reputation, and general waste everybody’s time talking about things he doesn’t appear to know anything about. The emails were filled with personal experience interpretations that make major leaps of assumption and presumption, blah, blah, blah.
By “blah, blah, blah” I mean, the person started with a crazy, unfounded, erroneous premise and then built a superstructure of conclusions on presuppositions and assumptions that were even further from reality.
Not the point. Not the point. Not the point. If you react to criticism, you become party to the whirlpool that person lives in. Stay out of the whirlpool. Don’t live in bondage to other people’s emotions and offenses. Reacting puts you into the trap.
You may be angry because you know this person’s has no right or basis for criticism, but you react in the same spirit and start criticizing them as if their criticism gives you a green light to do the same thing. You start criticizing someone you have no right or basis to criticize. Waste of time.
Here is the point. Anything you do and everything you are should stand up to scrutiny. I can be accountable to God in the season of criticism by making myself accountable for my assignment at a new level. Reacting will move me further from implementing my assignments, put me on the defensive, and make my enemies the center of attention. Responding to criticism by revisiting my accountability to God for my assignments will refocus the best of my life to the highest in my destiny.
Jesus was criticized for whatever He did. He was questioned repeatedly by His friends and family, and His family finally came to “take Him home” because they thought He had “lost it.” In the end, they all left Him alone. Yet, Jesus didn’t turn criticism into an opportunity to destroy His critics. If He had they wouldn’t have lasted long! He didn’t become defensive in a personal sense, but turned the criticism into an opportunity to further implement His assignment. He spoke Truth while He was doing so because that was His assignment; He never used Truth, or His superior grasp of Truth, to destroy His critics. They just kept on criticizing.
He didn’t allow the criticism to alter His actions. Criticism for healing on the Sabbath did not keep Him from healing on the Sabbath. However, He didn’t heal on the Sabbath to prove something to His critics with an “I’ll show you guys” attitude. He remained focused upon the Father’s desire to heal someone in a way consistent with the intent of Sabbath.
He didn’t allow criticism of His disciples to motivate an “I’ll be their hero” syndrome either. He simply returned them and Himself to His assignment. Then, He said, “You will get the same treatment I get; a disciple isn’t above His master.”
Leaders will be criticized incessantly, unavoidably, consistently. Leaders will be second-guessed by their best friends. Leaders will make mistakes that make criticism reactions predictable; leaders will also experience baseless, surprise criticisms “from out of left field.”
Good leaders will seek out criticism from their friends, make themselves accountable for their actions and decisions, and respond to unwarranted and unexpected criticisms as opportunities.