Forgive the distortion of Scripture in the title, but it seemed appropriate for this topic.
Thanks to the Six Seeds parenting e-zine, I learned an interesting story about the University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt. He and his wife put their lakefront second home up for sale in order to donate more money to World Vision to help those in poverty. Last year they read The Hole in Our Gospel (which I blogged about here) by Richard Stearns, who was president of World Vision. As he told Chip Towers, who wrote the blog post:
So I’m reading this book and
it really affected me. It helped me realize that what we have is way more than
we need and that our ability to give is hindered by this property.
I love when God reaches out and talks to someone (including me) about how we personally can show compassion, about how he wants us to be involved in social justice or fighting poverty in our situation.
Unfortunately, when you do respond to what God is saying, it seems criticism is the next gift you get. For Richt, first it was speculation that he was selling the house because his job was threatened due to his team’s poor record last year. Once Towers’ blog was posted telling of their true motivation, more criticism followed in the blog comments section. People who wondered why he didn’t have enough money to give already with his salary. People who were sure this was just a coverup for fear of a job loss. People who judged his motives, his behavior, his relationship with God.
It was a good reminder that no matter what we do, criticism will come. As the apostles Peter and John said, “It’s better to obey God than men” because you can’t please them anyway, I would add.
What has God ever told you to do that others have criticized you for? Les and I have experienced it multiple times when we invited people to live with us, whether for a few weeks or forever, as in the case of our daughter. I’m so glad we chose not listen to the critics because the blessings and joy have been tremendous (even in the midst of pain that sometimes came).
Don’t be afraid to obey God and to ignore the critics. His voice is the one that matters. Share your story of obedience with us so we too can be encouraged (and we promise not to criticize).
4 thoughts on “Give and Criticism Will Be Given Unto You”
Wonderful encouragement. Thanks.
Thanks for your comment, Steve. I'm glad it was an encouragement.
I have often wondered if our drive to criticize someone who is following God's leading stems from fear. When someone is living an example of "Extreme Christianity" (and I mean that in the most positive sense,)it is easy to look at what he is doing and think "I couldn't do that! God would never ask me to do that,(oh really?)so God would not ask him to do that either. He must be up to something." God doesn't ask most of us to walk into the firey furnace, but are we willing to follow Him where ever He leads us? Scarey stuff. Exciting too.
Claudia, I agree with you. The determination of others scares me sometimes and makes me wonder if my life is too cushy or if God wants more from me too. So if we can discredit their "motivation" we don't have to worry. I need to learn to rejoice when others follow the call of God into whatever step of obedience. And I have to be willing to follow only his call on my life, not what he asks of others.
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