How do you persevere in ministry in times of heavy criticism?

Pastor J.D. discusses why it’s important to remain rooted in your identity in Christ and look for the helpful truth, even in the most mean-spirited critiques, when you’re in a season of heavy criticism.

A glimpse inside this episode:

For me:

    • Realize it goes with the territory.
    • Similarly, realize it’s usually more about them than you. (Sometimes their critique should elicit compassion from you, not anger!)
    • Listen well to critics. (David and Shimei in 2 Samuel)
    • Don’t let it touch your identity.
      • Who am I in Christ?
      • Do the right people like me?
    • Allow it to expose your idols (we like to be liked).
  • Fear of Man
        • The fear of man means that you depend on people—their opinions, their approval, their presence—as a source of life and happiness. (Ed Welch)
        • Diagnosing the fear of man:
          • Is the thought of social rejection still one of your greatest fears?
          • Was peer pressure a big influence in your life?
          • Does the thought of failure mortify you? Why? Is it because of what others, your parents, your friends, the people you went to school with, will think about you?
          • Are you always competing with others?
          • Does what people say about you and how they treat you really affect your self-image?
          • Do you have a problem lying, especially telling little white lies?
  • Ed Welch, When People Are Big and God Is Small
      • Maybe you feel really good about yourself because you are the winner. That’s the fear of man. You love thinking about how people think of you. You fantasize about conversations people have where they talk about how great you are. Ed Welch says (summary), “The most dangerous form of the fear of man is the “successful” fear of man. Because you think you’ve made it; you’ve got more than other people, you feel good. But your life is still dominated and defined by what people think rather than what God thinks.”
      • The whole problem is that we fear people more than we fear God—we hold people in awe more than we hold God in awe; we give more weight to their opinions, their approval and their love, than we do to God’s opinions, God’s presence, God’s approval, and God’s love.
      • The fear of man is a type of idolatry; we worship people. Not that we bow down to a statue of them, but that we give glory to them that we should give to God. (Hebrew: glory = kabod, or “weight.”). We give too much weight to what men think– we reverence, we bow down to their opinions every day.
  • Realize there can be helpful truth to glean even in the most mean-spirited critiques
  • Closely related: God may be sending a Shimei to you.
  • Don’t be afraid to shield yourself from some of it (don’t read it, have other people read and filter, etc).


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