Summary: here is always a hint of truth in most criticism; we must respond in a way that honors God.
November 11, 2012 Evening Service
Immanuel Baptist Church, Wagoner, OK
Message Point: There is always a hint of truth in most criticism; we must respond in a way that honors God.
Focus Passage: 2 Samuel 16:5-14
Supplemental Passage: Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity. (1 Timothy 5:1-2 NASB)
Introduction: It is said that when the British and French were fighting in Canada in the 1750s, Admiral Phipps, commander of the British fleet, was told to anchor outside Quebec. He was given orders to wait for the British land forces to arrive, then support them when they attacked the city. Phipps' navy arrived early. As the admiral waited, he became annoyed by the statues of the saints that adorned the towers of a nearby cathedral, so he commanded his men to shoot at them with the ships' cannons. No one knows how many rounds were fired or how many statues were knocked out, but when the land forces arrived and the signal was given to attack, the admiral was of no help. He had used up all his ammunition shooting at the "saints." Daily Bread.
I. God can use people to tell us where we have gone wrong
a. Sometimes, we think too highly of ourselves as to think we can do no wrong
b. Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him. (2 Sam 16:11b)
c. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. (Proverbs 12:15 NASB)
II. Even harsh criticism can be based in truth
a. David recognized, that though it was inappropriate for Shimei to curse the king in such a way, that what he was saying was the truth.
b. "The LORD has returned upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. And behold, you are taken in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed!" (2 Samuel 16:8 NASB)
III. We must respond to criticism in a way that honors God
a. David listened to the criticism, learned from it, and trusted God.
b. "Perhaps the LORD will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day." (2 Samuel 16:12 NASB)
Invitation: To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. Elbert Hubbard.