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The Worst Criticism?

How do you feel about the absence of criticism? Pretty good? Given a choice, that’s the way we’d like it - peace and quiet and nobody grousing about something we did – or didn’t do. Sounds like the way to go, right?

Wrong! I’m sorry to break up your peaceful party, but if you are not being criticized, something is wrong. Think about it, when is a quarterback not criticized? You might think, “When he’s playing really well.” But even then, somebody thinks he’s not doing something right. The only time a QB isn’t criticized is when he’s not in the game.

Have you ever heard a sports commentator say, “You know, Larry, I’m looking over on the sidelines and Smith just doesn’t seem to be in good form today. He’s out of position on the bench and seems to be slouching a little”?

No! Nobody notices the third string quarterback, so he doesn’t get criticism. Now, put him in the game, and it’s a different story. The ones who are doing something, those are the ones who inevitably will be second guessed and criticized.

Consider that nobody, so far as we know, criticized Jesus during the eighteen years he spent building houses. But those last three years of his life, the ones we remember, the ones that changed the world - those were a maelstrom of relentless criticism. He was called names, set up for traps, run out of town, and eventually executed because powerful people did not like what he did and said.

Lest we think that was to be unique to him, Jesus taught, “Woe to you when all men speak well of you” (Luke 6:26). On the other hand, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11).

So, if you aren’t being criticized, check the scenery. Is anything moving? Or are you at a standstill?

People who matter - those who make a difference, the ones who take a stand for what is right -will certainly be criticized. Leaders are lightning rods. They really aren’t doing their jobs unless they are getting zapped.

Or, in the words of an old proverb, “Men never throw sticks at trees with no fruit on them.” If nobody is throwing criticism at us, maybe that’s the most critical commentary of all.


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