One of the most challenging things to do with critics is to ignore them. Most of the times we want to respond, defend or attack. It is natural. But responding to critics often empowers them. You give their words fuel.
I have had my share of critics. I have experienced people complaining about my teaching style, our message series titles, events that we do, things we don’t do and the list could go on and on. I refuse to acknowledge it. Most people are just complainers by nature – but they seldom do anything themselves to make a difference. Ignore them. Don’t give them a voice.
Jesus offers forgiveness to a woman. He is eating dinner when she comes in and washes his feet with expensive perfume. Jesus’s guests are indignant – “She wasted that resource,” or “We could have fed the poor.” But Jesus defends her actions and then does something incredible. He offers her forgiveness. His dinner guests begin to complain. Here is a great verse in the Bible, “He ignored them …” (Luke 7:50 – MSG). He did not respond. He just went about doing what He was called to do.
1. Critics are distractions.
They are designed to get you off vision. Don’t let the critics drive you away from what God has called you to do. You will never be able to change someone with a critical heart – that is God’s job.
2. They will criticize you until they need you.
I have experienced this in my life and leadership. People complain and complain and complain – until they need you – then they become the nicest, most supportive people on the planet. This is a great time to shine – and help those who even have hurt you.
3. Every person can be critical.
At times I get critical. I like things done a certain way, but I am learning that I can’t be hyper-critical. I must lead with grace and blessing. A critical spirit is a choice. I must choose to see the good and positive.
4. Surround yourself with supporters.
I firmly believe that those closest to us should be our biggest fans. They should be cheering us on. I do not need anti-Todd’s in my life. After all God is not against me – he is for me. That means I have to put some “for me” people around me.
Don’t respond to negative comments. Yes, they hurt, but do not give them life. I know that my Pastor, Joel Osteen, refuses to respond to anything negative. In fact, he does not even read it. He has made the choice to not allow that seed in his spirit. I am learning to do that to.
At the end of the day if you do what Jesus did you cannot go wrong. So when someone complains or criticizes you just ignore them. Jesus did.