Summary: A look at criticims and defending against it God’s way. A recrafted sermon from Jeff Strite Sermon contributor ID= 4028


2 SAMUEL 16:5-14

PSALM 3:1-8


[recrafted sermon from Jeff Strite Sermon contributor ID= 4028]


I would like to begin this morning with a little quiz. I need you to participate with me and actually answer the questions. I need you to tell me what personality trait comes into your mind when you hear these names:

* Thomas (Doubt), * Jezebel (adultery), * Judas (betrayal), * Shimei (huh?)

Shimei? Yes Shimei - when you leave this worship service, I would like to remember his name and what trait should be identified with him. Shimei suffered from a spiritual illness that unfortunately strikes both Christian and non-Christian alike and can destroy the very spiritual fiber of the strongest man of faith...

Shimei suffered from DEAD DOG SYNDROME.

You might be wondering where we find this ‘Dead Dog Syndrome’ and what it is exactly. First, we need a little background. I want to summarize for you the end of 1 Samuel and also 2 Samuel chapters 1-15. David’s path to the throne of Israel was not an easy one. He struggled with King Saul and feared for his life on more than one occasion. David had opportunities to kill Saul, but did not because he was anointed by God to be the king. Saul later took his own life during battle and David became king. David conquered the Philistines and the people around him. Israel was a mighty nation under David. David had a son named Absalom, who started a rebellion against his father and wanted the throne for himself. His son Absalom wanted to fight his father, but David loved his son and did not wish to face him in battle.

READ 2 SAMUEL 16:5-14

What on earth would cause Shimei to behave like such a jerk? What caused him to run out after the king and say what he said and do what he did? He had ‘Dead Dog Syndrome.’ What is this disease? It is a critical spirit. What are the symptoms of the disease? The desire to Spit Out, Strike Out, and Tear Down.

I ask you two very simple questions this morning that will take much self-examination to answer. The questions are: Do you have a critical spirit? How do you defend against a critical spirit? To be honest, only you can answer the first question. You will know whether or not you have a critical spirit and suffer from ‘Dead Dog Syndrome.’

We see in though, in Scripture, how to answer the second question: How do we deal with critical people.

We need to take note of how King David handles this situation. He had so many reasons to be infected with this disease. He had been stripped of his security, rejected by his people, and was no longer the young man capable of handling life on the run he used to be. Not only that, his enemy was his beloved son. This was his darkest hour. Now, as he rides away from battle, to have some sordid, mean spirited, insignificant excuse for a man throwing dirt and rocks at him must have been the end all. I know how it is with me. You catch me in a day when everything is going wrong, I’m tired… a little grouchy… and then someone says just the wrong thing... I might be inclined to take his head off too. I understand Abishai. "Here Abishai, use my sword, but don’t kill him ...too quickly."

How did David protect and defend himself against this critical spirit? And how do we heal ourselves of this disease?


The first way of defending against criticism is to deal with it honestly. I suppose I am taking some liberties here, but I do wonder exactly what was going through the mind of David as Shimei was shouting at him. I think there might have been two thoughts running through David’s mind as he was pelted with rocks and criticism.

First, I think he was listening honestly to Shimei and seeing first if any of it was true. Verse 11 and 12 do not show that David disagreed with Shimei in any way. Many times those who criticize us do not have all the facts or are mistaken in some way, but there might be a small thread of truth in what they are saying. Maybe, as David said, they are being used by God in some way to help you or to fix a problem in your life.

* Sometimes criticism comes because someone is mean-spirited, perhaps like Shimei

* Sometimes criticism comes because someone cares and wishes the best for you

* God can use either of these to aid you in your life

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