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“A Bruise Is Better than A Bite!” 1 Samuel 1:1-8 Key verse(s): 8:“Elkanah here husband would say to her, ‘Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don’t you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?’”


“Constructive criticism is when I criticize you. Destructive criticism is when you criticize me.” If we could make this clear and plain to everyone we met, all our lives would be so much easier. If people just realized that criticism is applicable to everyone but the person delivering it, it would be a lot easier getting along with folks. Unfortunately, no one seems to grasp this basic concept of human co-existence.


As silly as it sounds, rare is the individual that does not at least think this from time to time. For many of us criticism is one of the hardest things in this life to bear. I know! Comparing the pain of a compound fracture to that of the well-aimed criticism, I would prefer the ache of the break to the sting of the sling. If confessions are appropriate, I must own up. Like most people I try to avoid criticism and I certainly am not the kind of person who goes around seeking it. Reacting to just criticism isn’t fun; but reacting to unjust criticism is even less of a picnic. Since it is so difficult sometimes to differentiate between the two, perhaps avoiding any criticism at all costs is the better path to take.


Unfortunately, life presents us with both types of criticism on a pretty frequent basis. Dealing with the just requires patience and forbearance. Dealing with the unjust requires a deep kind of loving patience and forbearance. Criticism well directed and delivered with care may still cause bruised feelings. But criticism that is unloaded upon us, inflicted and perpetrated on us breaks the skin of our lives and opens gaping wounds. That’s because this latter kind of criticism aims for our weak spots, places where we are much more vulnerable. Turkeys in many ways are much like humans. They prefer to flock together and cooperate as a team. That is until one of them is wounded. Then, if a small drop of blood becomes apparent on one bird, the other birds team up and begin to peck at the spot until they open up a small wound. But they don’t stop there. Each bird relentlessly takes its turn pecking at that same spot until what had been a small wound becomes a gaping wound. Eventually the wounded bird is literally pecked to death.

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