Tuesday, May 03, 2011

One Way to Defeat Worry: Never Answer Your Critics

In his practical book, How to Win Over Worry, Pastor John Edmund Haggai, not to be confused with John Hagee, says that one way to defeat the power of worry over our lives is to develop poise in the face of criticism. I love what he writes here:
...follow the example of our Lord [Jesus], who answered His critics so often with silence. Our Lord defended other people. He defended the Word of God. He defended the work of His heavenly Father. He defended little children. Yet He never defended Himself.

Usually you will find it wise not to answer your critics, tempting though it may be to do so. "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him" (Proverbs 26:4).

Ask yourself what answering criticism will achieve. Your friends don't need an answer, because you retain their confidence. Instead, listen to the criticism objectively. Don't allow yourself to become emotionally involved. Sometimes you can profit from criticism. If the criticism is just, do something about it. If the criticism is unjust, ignore it.

On the other hand, if your enemies criticize you, so what? That's what enemies do. And remember that unjust criticism is often a backhanded compliment. It often indicates that you have excited the interest, jealousy, and envy of the critic. As the old adage goes, "No one ever kicks a dead dog."


Paddy O said...

This is a great lesson. In the world of studying theology, like in the world of ministry, it seems that the entire goal for many is criticism. It's so easy to get caught up in that, then get reactionary or become entrenched in a constant defensive position, becoming hardened.

The lesson of Jesus here is definitely one that has been on my mind. Where I see this lived out in theology or ministry, I see a continual burst of creativity. This is a lesson I'm still trying to learn.

Mark Daniels said...

Thanks for the comments.

Like you, I'm in the process of learning this lesson myself. Maybe one day I will.

God bless you.

Greet Amy for me.