It hurts to be falsely accused. It hurts when others attribute false motives for actions we feel are justified and needed. It hurts because our intentions might be pure, but we just can’t control what others might say or think.
Even though we are blessed to live in a country where we are free to practice and proclaim our faith, the reality of the world is that if we practice and proclaim the gospel long enough, there will come a time when someone will not like it. The values of the gospel often cause friction with the values of the world.
This is one of the reasons that the Bible encourages us to take joy in our hardships. We should be discerning, and listen carefully to our critics, but if the criticism is that we are living too close to the gospel narrative, then we know we are doing something right.
While it is never fun to be criticized or accused, let us hope that we live the Gospel message so radically that it can’t help but raise eyebrows amongst those that don’t believe. And let us pray that God might use us to bring others into grace as well.
QUESTIONS FOR THE FIELD
- Have you been recently criticized unfairly? What is the most faithful way to respond?
- Is there a hardship you are currently facing? How can the gospel help you to reframe that experience into a redemptive experience?
FAMILY FIELD TALK
- How can we practice returning criticism with love?
Almighty God, we cannot control the actions of others, but we can ask for your grace and healing to be present in the world. Use us as instruments of your peace today. Amen.