The Gift of Criticism
Posted on April 23, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“He who is the most bold and freely expresses himself is always right.” (Hezekiah 3:16) (I love the book of Hezekiah.)
What a great gift. I’ve got it and I’ll bet you do too. I refer to criticism. Of course, you must understand, I am not being controversial, I am just stating an opinion. I am entitled to an opinion, you know.
Different people have different “gifts.”
- Most comedians are not funny to me at all. But to others, all they need to do is open their mouths or wrinkle their face and people laugh. Comedians would become beggars if I were paying the bills.
- Some people are competitive. All they have to do is win. And whatever they do or say irritates other people, even if said with no intention or pre-thought.
- Some people are overpowering. As soon as they step into a room, they seem to take over and others just fall in place. It isn’t necessarily willful intimidation but becomes that because of their strong personality.
- Some people argumentative. No matter what you say, they must add something which is irritating. They just can’t keep their opinion to themselves to avoid confrontation.
- Some preachers have a great reputation as being excellent. People arrive with great expectations and are blessed. All they have to do is open their mouths and you are sucked in. Another person saying the same words, maybe even reading the sermon, just flops.
- I know only one person in this world who I’ve never known to criticize. In fact, this person never states an opinion on anything or reveals any personal thoughts. When critical conversations take place, or this person is asked a question on a controversial event or person, there is deadly silence!!!! It drives the rest of us crazy because we have the gift of criticism. We also, truly, would like to get inside this person’s brain so we can learn how to better relate.
These tendencies become known…and grow in perception…and there doesn’t seem to be much that person can do to change the expected. One slip of the tongue or action of body language and they have once again reinforced the characteristic.
Then, wouldn’t you know, the Bible has something to say about all of this.
- “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matt. 5:11)
- “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.” (Psalm 34:13)
- “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evilman out of the eviltreasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” (Luke 6:45)
But I love my gift. I love it so much that I can’t give it up. People will be much better if they listen to me.
I don’t think God would use this language, but occasionally I think I hear a gentle voice whispering in my ear, “Shut up!”
Written by Rev. Neil Fichthorn Rev. Neil Fichthorn is a seasoned conference and camping servant having served at Gull Lake Bible Conference, Sandy Cove Ministries as President, and an interim Executive Director at Pinebrook Bible Conference. He also served in church music for decades as a choir director and arranger. He has been Bill Welte’s mentor and friend for over 45 years.
Think About This: “Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.” – Ronald Reagan
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. – 2 Corinthians 5:14-15