Making Life Work
Read: Psalm 7
Focus: Psalm 7:10-11
God is my shield, saving those whose hearts are true and right. God is an honest judge. He is angry with the wicked every day.
Ellen Hubbard said, “to avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” In other words, welcome to the human race where no one is exempt from criticism. No one!
Moses—the greatest leader the world has ever known, humble servant of the people, worker of miracles, giver of the Law, desert guide par excellence—wasn’t immune from the most savage of criticism. The very people he had delivered from the cruelty of Egyptian bondage even talked of storing him. (Exodus 14:10)
Jesus—most perfect person who ever lived, the faultless Son of God, selfless sacrifice for the sins of mankind—often had his motives called into question. He lived with misunderstanding, was often misrepresented and endured malicious criticism:
- They called Jesus a glutton. (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34)
- They called him a drunkard. (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34)
- They criticized his association with sinners. (Matthew 9:11, Mark 2:16, Luke 5:30)
- They called him, worst of all a Samaritan, a racial slur, inferring that he was selling out to the enemy. (John 8:48)
David—the greatest king Israel would ever have, a man after God’s heart, sweet singer of Israel—was often under the thumb of critics. From Saul to Shimei to Absalom, his own son, David lived with a daily deluge of those who challenged his authority. In the title of Psalm 7, David’s critic came in the human form of a pain in the derriere identified as Cush. Apparently, Cush was quite vocal about David’s leadership flaws, real and perceived.
Maybe you face a critic, too. It could be that you have one at work, or at church, or perhaps you face one even at home—the one place that ought to be free of destructive criticism. And if you let them, they will sap the strength right out of you. Frankly, their criticism hurts…even when it is plainly untrue.
If you have a critic nipping at you right now—and if you don’t, stick around for a while, you’ll have one soon enough—I would recommend you do what David did. He ordered his life by the true and only Critic who mattered, entrusting himself to God’s righteous judgment and sin-covering grace.
Whenever your critic shows up and starts shooting arrows your way, rather than spending too much of your precious energy on them, go to God. He is the only one who truly knows you, and at the end of the day, it is his evaluation that matters. The Apostle Paul in I Corinthians 4:3-4, “I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me.” It’s true—it is God alone who is qualified to judge you! So learn to pray David’s prayer from Psalm 139:23-24,
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Pray that prayer humbly and honestly before God, listen and respond to his voice, and you will be just fine. By the way, this Critic is your biggest fan!
“All of us could take a lesson from the weather, it pays no attention to criticism.”