Summary: A study on the 7 ways King David responded to criticism.
RESPONDING TO CRITICISM
2 Sam. 16:5-14
A. HUMOR: $20 Short
1. A Post Office worker, at the main sorting office, found an unstamped, poorly hand-written envelope, addressed to God. He opens it and discovers it is from an elderly lady, distressed because all her savings -- $200 -- have been stolen. She will be cold and hungry this Christmas.
2. He organizes the postal workers, who dig deep and come up with $180 to donate. They get it to her by special courier the same morning. A week later, the same postal worker recognizes the same handwriting on another envelope. He opens it.
3. "Dear God, Thank you for the $180 for Christmas, which would have been so bleak otherwise. P.S. It was $20 short but that was probably those thieving workers at the Post Office."
5 As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul's family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out. 6 He pelted David and all the king's officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David's right and left. 7 As he cursed, Shimei said, "Get out, get out, you man of blood, you scoundrel! 8 The LORD has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The LORD has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a man of blood!" 9 Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head."
10 But the king said, "What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, 'Curse David,' who can ask, 'Why do you do this?' " 11 David then said to Abishai and all his officials, "My son, who is of my own flesh, is trying to take my life. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. 12 It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today."
13 So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt. 14 The king and all the people with him arrived at their destination exhausted. And there he refreshed himself.
1. PUBLIC SCRUTINY. Some time ago, a candidate for Secretary of Defense, Bobby Ray Inman (naval admiral), withdrew from consideration because William Safire & Sen. Rob. Dole criticized him. The press responded on Nightline, "If you can't take the heat, then get out of the kitchen."
a. Some public scrutiny is necessary to ensure good candidates.
b. But many in the media seem to delight/thrive on turning up dirt. The definition of a "dog" -- "one who gets into your garbage and spreads it all over town."
c. This same "spirit" sometimes takes on Christian attire with some who feel that it’s their business to know and tell personal facts.
d. It's a dangerous thing to start inspecting others.
2. ILLUSTRATION. A lady in Switzerland bought a small package of greatly aged cheese. She continued shopping in different stores. One clerk had an odor so offensive, that she bolted from the store complaining, "How can he keep a job smelling like that?" In another store, she encountered another clerk with such an offensive smell! She thought to herself, "What is the world coming to? Are all these young people not taking baths?" Imagine her embarrassment when, at home, she opened her sacks to find out that it was she, not others, who was responsible for the odor!
3. The word "critic" (Greek -- Kritikos) means "able to discern or judge." Q - Does the Bible say Christians are to judge one another? No!
a. "Judge not, that you be not judged" Matthew 7:1.
b. "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone..." John 8:7.
4. BUT HOW DO YOU RESPOND WHEN YOU ARE CRITICIZED?
5. Title: “Responding to Criticism.”
I. NATURAL REACTIONS TO CRITICISM
A. HURT -- it hurts!
1. Nobody likes rejection, or to be the butt of jokes, but it’s a part of life, to some extent, and also part of our lot as Christians.