Critics are critical to the work of God. Jesus had them and we need them. I don't like this truth; nonetheless, it is a vital part of His success in us.
Admittedly, I was caught off-guard by these who live to pick apart my work. To have sermon CDs sent anonymously of a preacher naming me in his sermon as a false teacher--all the while clearly misrepresenting me--was a toughy. To open a brotherhood newsletter/paper to note, "The False Teachings of Terry Rush" without having ever heard from the author first....difficult for me to take. But...I must have such opposition to keep me focused in dire need upon Him.
My first mistake was to contact these men. But I learned a yes in the midst of such mistakes. The yes is don't contact them. They take this as a feather in their cap. These are weasle-men whose only claim to fame is to pronounce loudly how they wage war against others.
I just returned from a trip to check on my mom. What awaits me among 70 emails? Another public discourse by one bragging of his stance against others and me. His contortioned message is sad. He surely looks good to his audience that evidently gives him applause.
He will not hear complaint from me for I learned long ago that such is precisely what gives the critic the ammo he or she needs to flaunt their stances. Just as important, I learned during the same lesson that I need the critic in my life that I keep in mind church doesn't operate upon my great skill nor my smooth sailing.
It only operates within and among those dependent upon Him.
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me--to keep me from exalting myself!
What we don't like (criticism) is a very elemental key to our groomed dependence upon God. Brennan Manning wrote in his newest book, I saw my life as vitiated by pride, by the inordinate desire to be liked, loved, approved, applauded, and accepted.
No kidding. Him, too?
Thus he points to Matthew 5:3 of the New English Bible, How blessed are those who know that they are poor, the kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Thornism is a major player in God's kingdom as its pain shifts us from independence to a grace-filled walk. We need the critics. They are our blessings. Don't throw them away.
A strong test for me is to see that I don't become critical of my critics.