Archives For Criticism

iStockEncouragementOne of the inevitabilities of life and the ministry is that people will abandon you.  Not everyone will go the distance with you.

The fact is, we live in a quitter culture.  People walk away from their jobs, their spouses, their new year’s resolutions, and their churches.

Near the end of the apostle Paul’s ministry some of his coworkers abandoned him.  That absolutely amazes me.  Just the thought of being able to serve alongside Paul fires me up.  But people left him.  My guess is, based on typical human reasoning, they had “good reasons” for leaving Paul high and dry.  After all, they had “justifiable concerns” of Paul.

Over the years I have followed some pastors with incredible ministries.  Men like Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, and Perry Noble.  Their stories are similar.  They have all had good friends and coworkers abandon them, and of course, all left for “good reasons.”  In every case it was the pastor’s fault.

So I’m sure it was the same for the apostle Paul.

Perhaps those who abandoned Paul were concerned that his prison sentence showed that God was not in his minstry.

Whatever their reasoning they left.  But under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul in 2 Timothy 1:16 is asking God to greatly reward Onesiphorus who stood with him and encouraged him while he was lanquishing in prison.  “May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains...”

My guess is you will cross paths with someone this week who has been abandoned by someone.  They are feeling incredible loneliness.

Stay alert and take the time to step in and encourage.  You will be glad you did.  And God may just happen to shine on you, and even your family.

iStockWordsHave you ever thought about the power and impact of your words. No doubt we have all shared many that we wish we hadn’t.

As little kids we were taught, Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.

Wow! Who thought that one up? And who passed that rhyme along? There is absolutely no truth in it, yet it gets repeated continually.

We all know it’s a lie. Words do hurt. We have been hurt by words. Right now you are recalling some hurtful words that were said to you.

Perhaps you are also recalling words that you said. It’s too late to take them back. Yes, you wish you could. But once they come out there is no taking back.

Plus they are rarely forgotten. Sadly, some we take all the way to the grave.

Many are said due to anger. We allow anger to take over and we let the words fly. Later we apologize, but the damage is done.

In 2 Samuel 16:5-14 David has lost the throne and is on his way out of town. One of his enemies, Shimei, berates him. His criticism of David goes over the top. There are some relational issues going on as Shimei was from the tribe of Benjamin just like Saul. Saul is now dead, but Shimei is still loyal to Saul, not David.

Time moves on. In 1 Kings 2:8-10 David comes toward the end of his life and gives his son Solomon some final counsel. Here David recounts the hurtful words Shimei leveled against him years earlier.

Those words still hurt. David had not forgotten them.

He took those hurtful words all the way to the grave. That’s sad. Perhaps even in your own life, perhaps even in your marriage you have said some words that you can’t take back.

We have all said things we wish we hadn’t. It’s time to move on. From here on out you can do a couple of things.

1. Stop. You don’t have to immediately say what has come into your mind.

2. Think. Not everything has to be said. Some things are better left unsaid. That little zinger you want to let fly will add nothing to the relationship.

3. Multiply. Research suggests that one negative can undo twenty positives. Do you realize now the power of hurtful words?

4. Ask. Is it helpful? Will this help the situation or exasperate it? Am I saying this while I am still upset and angry?

5. Proceed. If it is helpful and you have control over your emotions you will do a much better job communicating.

Just remember, if you fail to do these things your words may very well hurt…all the way to the grave!

 

 

SuperBowlXLVIIIRight after the game the critics came out. I’m not a big fan of the critics, because they are often wrong. Sure, they appear to be right in the moment, but time often tells a different story.

Before I give you some of my observations on the game, let’s go back to the NFL Draft of 2012. One sportswriter heavily criticized Pete Carroll. In fact, he gave Pete an F for his draft skills that year.  Oh, and he also considered Russell Wilson “by far the worst move of the draft.” To be fair there were many who doubted Wilson’s ability to play in the NFL.

In case you are not aware, Russell Wilson was the starting quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks in their blowout win in Super Bowl XLVIII! So much for any credibility regarding the remarks of the sportswriter.

Now let’s move on to Peyton Manning. Yes, he gets a lot of attention due to his spectacular play on the field. Yes, he was expected to have a much better game than he did.

I am not going to defend or take up for Peyton except to say football is a team sport. Also, I don’t think Denver could have won even if Peyton had a great game. Seattle was playing at way too high of a level.

With that said, at least four things happened in the game that Peyton had nothing to do with, yet he was expected to overcome.

1. The first play from scrimmage consisted of a poorly snapped football that turned into a safety.

2. At halftime the score was 22-0. That is not good by any stretch of the imagination. However, if the defense can hold Seattle’s offense on the opening possession of the second half, have them punt, and then put together a scoring drive, we have us a ball game.  But that is not what happened. The opening kickoff of the second half was returned by Seattle for a touchdown, all while Peyton is on the bench. Now he gets the ball back and the score is 29-0. That’s very difficult.

3. But Peyton is able to complete some passes and makes a good throw to Damaryius Thomas who makes the catch, runs for extra yards, but then has it stripped from him for a fumble and Seattle recovery. Once again, Peyton is expected to overcome that mistake also.

4. The defense. What did they do to help the cause? Nothing. No one stepped up and made a great play or caused a turnover. That’s what good defenses do. But not Denver’s.

With that said, yes Peyton did not have a good game. And he will be highly criticized for some time, perhaps forever in football world. But football is a team sport, and where was the rest of the team?