We always find what we are looking for…and critics are going to find something to criticize. Because nothing this side of heaven is perfect. The casserole could use a little more sauce. The wall color would match a bit better if it were one shade lighter. The event would have been just right if only that one thing hadn’t gone wrong. The book, the dream, the person could always do with a bit of tweaking.
Listening to the critics will drive you crazy.
And trying to do everything they say will make your life miserable.
Pursue excellence, yes. But at the end of the day you don’t answer to the critics. You answer to Christ. And what he asks for is obedience. That is success. That is enough. His way of doing things has always drawn criticism. Don’t expect what he has you do to be the one exception in all of history. It’s not going to be.
Here’s the thing:
Criticism is cheap. Courage is costly.
Criticism is easy. Love is hard.
Criticism is safe. Obedience is risky.
So give me the wild ones. The women who aren’t afraid to say, “I’m gonna do it anyway. And if I mess up, I’ll try again.” Give me the dreamers willing to step out of the shadows and into the light–knowing at some point that will mean exposing something they’d rather keep hidden. Give me the stubborn and strong who refuse to give up even when progress is painful. Give me the people who will arrive at the feet of Jesus tattered and dirty and saying, “Whew, what a ride!”
Let’s be those kinds of women–not critics. Let’s bite our tongue when our words would be destructive. Let’s hold back that sarcastic remark. Let’s seek unity rather then division. Let’s speak the truth, yes, but let’s not forget the “in love” part.
We are all strugglers and stragglers. We all need grace. We all mess up. We don’t gain anything by pointing out each others’ imperfections. We only feed our insecurity and pride.
Let’s not be critics. Let’s be Christ followers.
And when we are the ones who are criticized let us bear it as he did–with love, forgiveness, and a determination to let nothing on heaven or earth stop God’s mission for us.
I will never criticize you, my friend. Not online, not in real life. Not ever. Instead I will look for your strengths. I will cheer on your dreams. I will support you wherever you are headed with Jesus.
You are safe here. You always have been–you always will be.