Why we are affected when Criticized?
Few weeks ago, an old woman approached me. She said, “Pastor I have a word from the Lord for you.” I had no clue if she had a prophetic gift or who she was. She then started to pray and prophesy:
“Pastor, God is telling you that you have lost your joy in ministry. And that don’t be sad (or something like that) and that God misses my smile.”
I smiled back and thanked her. But I was disturbed.
I then did my personal feedback – have I really lost my joy in serving God? Do I look sad and burdened? Though that day I had the allergies… but as I checked and honestly assessed I was joyful, I was pumped up for what God is doing personally through me and my ministry. I have been smiling like never before.
So why did I receive that word? Why would she give that word to me? Is she under any covering to give any prophetic word? Is she a prophet?
I got affected. The first reason is because I do not encourage any prophetic move that is not recognized by a local church nor any prophetic gesture from someone who is not under any spiritual covering (more on that in my future blogs). By the way, I am quite sure that her words were not prophetic and what she did was not align to the prophetic guidelines set in Scripture.
But the main reason I got affected was because it hurt my ego. PRIDE. I have been thinking about my stinking attitude for the past two days after that incident. Why would I be affected? What was God teaching and exposing in my heart?
I knew it was pride because if it is not true why do I keep thinking about it and get pissed off. I knew it was pride because there was this nagging drive for me to prove that she was wrong but I have no way of doing it because I don’t know where she is and who she is.
The gospel reminds me that the reason I am affected for days was because I do not want to hear accusations against me that makes me look bad.
I reminded of what Tim Keller wrote in one of his articles which shows how a gospel saturated person should react. When we are under the law this is how we react: When I am criticized I am furious or devastated because it is critical that I think of myself as a ‘good person’. Threats to that self-image must be destroyed at all costs
THE GOSPEL tells me that When I am criticized I struggle, but it is not critical for me to think of myself as a ‘good person.’ My identity is not built on my record or my performance but on God’s love for me in Christ. I can take criticism.
Lord may you continue to expose the sins and the pride that can easily come when I am criticized. Help me by your grace to overcome because I am loved and accepted by Christ, In Jesus name Amen