Everyone’s a Critic

Text: Proverbs 9:7-12


I.         Everyone faces days when it feels as if nothing is going right.

            A.        People find fault with what you do and you think that nothing can please them.

            B.        Criticism, justified or not, isn’t pleasant to receive

                        1.         “You’re not doing that right.”

                        2.         “You should have done that better.”

                        3.         “He better than you are.”

            C.        It hurts when someone who has never done your job or is just learning your trade tells you how you aren’t doing your job right.

            D.        What really hurts is when someone who isn’t living a Christian life starts point out the mistakes you make.

                        1.         “You’re a Christian and you act like that?”

                        2.         “I thought you were supposed to be righteous, or something like that.”

II.        Listen

            A.        As painful as it may be, we need to listen to criticism, no matter what the source.

            B.        What you are being told might not be from a pure motivation, but what you need to ask yourself is whether they are accurately pointing a problem that you are ignoring.

                        1.         Too often we don’t face the real truth because it involves us.

                        2.         Wise people learn - Proverbs 9:9

            C.        Yes, it is easier to take rebukes from someone who cares about you - Ecclesiastes 7:5

            D.        All criticism isn’t equal

                        1.         Some criticize to bring you down - Proverbs 27:5-6

                        2.         Foolish people will give you foolish advice - Proverbs 16:22

III.       Consider

            A.        Still, our aim is not to please people, but God - I Thessalonians 2:4

                        1.         So consider whether there is a grain of truth in what is being said.

            B.        It is easy to get annoyed at criticism when it comes from the wrong source.

                        1.         But don’t let your anger cause you to miss an important point when Christians are being criticized by unbelievers: These people think that Christians ought to be better than the average person. So is it bad that they hold some respect for the concept of being a Christian?

                        2.         We should be concerned about how we shine in the world - Matthew 5:14-16

                        3.         We should want to be high quality lights - Philippians 2:5

            C.        Some taunt people who are better than they, knowing that they are not as good. It is a desire to pull another down to their level.

                        1.         Then they can justify to themselves that being better isn’t important because they are all ready just as good or better than you.

                        2.         Thus the critic is finding justification for his own sins.

            D.        Don’t fall into the trap of thinking: “Well, no one is perfect.”

                        1.         Is it a Christian’s goal to be satisfied with imperfection? - I Peter 1:13-16

                        2.         None of us will be as holy as God, but that doesn’t mean God should come down to our level. We continue to strive to reach for God’s level because that makes us better people

IV.      Correct

            A.        Just because criticism comes from the wrong source, if it points out an actual flaw, we should correct it - I John 1:8-10

            B.        Remember who we are striving to please - Galatians 1:10

            C.        Knowing that we are doing what is right gives us confidence - I John 3:18-22

V.        Pray

            A.        Understand that unjust criticism comes from envy of what you have obtained so far.

                        1.         Envy sets a person against the truth - James 3:14

                        2.         And we too, at times, fall into the same trap - Ecclesiastes 7:21-22

            B.        If they are gloating over something that is a problem for you, take the wind out of their sails: “You’re right; I need to work on that.”

                        1.         It acknowledges that you are human

                        2.         But it says both you and the critic need to reach for a higher plane

            C.        Benefit others, don’t justify yourself - Ephesians 4:29

            D.        Pray for the critic because he needs God’s help - Matthew 5:44-45

            E.        Because a wise man loves the one who wants him to improve - Proverbs 9:8