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1. Remember Jesus Christ's ability to endure hardships, criticisms and misunderstandings. The Pharisees accused Jesus of being Beelezebub - the son of the devil. Blessed are the persecuted because of righteousness for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11,12) Thank God for the privilege of being identified closer with Christ and the prophets. The worst thing you can do is to react with anger, become irritable and respond with vengeance. Refuse to allow yourself to become embittered but allow every criticism to make you a better person.

2. Solomon knew something about responding positively to criticism when he wrote, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." (Proverbs 15:1) Ask the Lord for helping in reacting in a calm controlled and loving way to your critics. Your adversaries will eventually be ashamed of themselves by your consistent Godliness.

3. Blessed are the gentle since they exhibit power under control. They are able to maintain their peace under the heat of criticisms , misunderstanding and injustices. Being meek does not equate with weakness. Ask the Lord to give you powerful intercessors who will speak on your behalf and pray for your during times of testing.

4. Blessed are the poor in spirit as they recognize that we are all sinners and are in need of God's mercy, grace and patience. Ask people, "Please be patient with me God is not finished with me yet."

5. Remember that pride goes before destruction and a haughty or self-righteous spirit comes before stumbling. Do not always feel that you have to defend yourself as the Lord is your great advocate - He will fight the battles for you.

6. Love is long-suffering. Ask the Lord for a great infusion of His grace in maintaining your peace and tongue under the heat of attacks. Press on for the upward call of God in Christ Jesus and His Spirit. Focus your attention on things that are above rather than on things that are on the earth with all of its politics, palavers and ego problems.

7. Follow the example of Jesus who when questioned about His authority by the Pharisees said, "If you answer my question, I will tell you where my authority comes from. "Where did John get his power." The Pharisees were afraid to answer publicly for fear of the crowds. Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you where I get my authority!"

8. Occasionally you may be wise to defer, delay, obfuscate, procrastinate or prevaricate (speaking evasively) in order to avoid a confrontation. Try not to get into a heated argument. Paul wrote Timothy, "Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. The Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth." (2 Tim. 2:24-26) Let the Lord's Spirit change peoples' thinking.

9. Remember that the source of most conflicts lies within a person's own selfish desires. James wrote, "What is the source of conflicts and quarrels among you, is it not your own desires that battle within you? You want something but don't' get it. You do not have because you do not ask. When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures." (James 4:1-4) Ask the Lord for the ability to replace your selfish desires with Christ's priorities, purposes and processes. He will give you the desires of your heart as you commit, delight and trust also in Him to bring things to pass.

10. Practice wise diplomacy, tact and ambassadorial discretion answering your critics with gracious language the way Paul did to Agrippa, Festus and his Jewish accusers in Acts 26.

11. Remind people of the power of a testimony that is free from complaining. Paul wrote in Phil. 2:14,15 which says, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of Goid without fault in a crooked and depraved generation in which you shine like starts in the universe as you hold out the word of life. Frequently use the scripture to quote to your critics as that focuses their attention of the truth of God's word.

12. Take up the full armor of God so that you can stand against the attacks from the world, the flesh and the devil. Fortify yourself with the breastplate of righteousness so that you are faultless. Use the helmet of salvation to remind you of all the riches you have in Christ. Take the shield of faith so that you can know that you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Gird your loins with the belt of truth and the gospel so that you are progressing in all aspects into Christ rather than worrying about just reacting to the problems that come to you.

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