I once went to dinner hosting a guest speaker. He began to disparage a Pastor that we think of very highly and has invested in the ministry of Lifepoint considerably. Having understood Honor as a church and living in that culture, I immediately shut him down and began to praise that particular Pastor and what he had done for us.
Fast forward a few years. I’m at a conference and find myself looking at Pastors and labeling them. That one is brash. That one is prideful. Who does he think he is wearing that outfit?
Fast forward a few years. I’m sitting at a table with someone who is very influential in the church world who gets criticized. 1. He is EXTREMELY humble and down to earth. 2. I find myself saying ‘how did I get here?’ ‘What am I doing here?’ ‘I don’t deserve this!’
What is the point of these 3 stories?
- Story 1 – The criticizer knew nothing of the one he was criticizing. He only… get this… perceived something.
- Story 2 – I, the criticizer, knew NOTHING of the ones I was criticizing. And, being the criticizer, I knew I had an issue with insecurity. So much easier to feel good about yourself when you are criticizing others.
- Story 3 – Usually people’s perception of others is wrong – including mine. AND, I recognized my insecurity.
And that is when I felt God say – you look and think you see a bunch of overconfident, brash, and bragadocious people. But I see people who are dealing with insecurity just as you are.
What’s the lesson? If you are a criticizer, most likely you just need to deal with your own insecurities. Quit worrying about everyone else. Worry about yourself. Also, encourage your leaders. I think most of them are saying to themselves – ‘how did I get here?’ ‘What am I doing here?’ ‘I don’t deserve this!’
Hold your tongue. You probably have no business being a critic.
Next post – Monday February 20th – The art of going to bed