Even When Criticized

Reading through a devotional with our church group, our pastor suggested “we take a moment to thank God for the blessing of encouragement anytime someone pays us a compliment.” Then he continued, “Could we take it one step further and thank God when we are criticized? Thank God for the opportunity to grow and that our identity and worth are in God and not the criticizing person?” That caused me deep reflection.

Not everyone jumped on board with this idea, but my thoughts formed into these words:

James‬ ‭1‬:‭2‬ ‭NLT‬‬ says, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.“ Joy after being criticized/hurt? Seriously? To have that mindset would definitely show growth and God living within me. That’s for certain. It’s not something I can do on my own. Like this verse states, trouble comes in many forms. Someone’s critical attitude and harsh words can be just as damaging as throwing a physical punch—sometimes worse. But, to rise above the negativity when I feel attacked, that’s leaning into God’s strength. That’s also why I love this next verse: ”I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.“ Romans‬ ‭15‬:‭13‬ ‭NLT‬‬ Might I add, even when criticized?

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