Summary: Why Should I Love Those Who Badmouth, Abuse, or Criticize Me? I Cor. 13:4-7
Why Should I Love Those Who Badmouth, Abuse, or Criticize Me?
Quote: Love overlooks a fault. (I Cor. 13:4-7)
We are living at time when the rhetoric of debate, criticism and verbal abuse is rising to a fever pitch. Many people think that criticisms are a normal part of American life with the proliferation of talk radio, Bill O’Reilly and Phil Donahue interview shows. There is a huge need for polite, discrete and loving speech to be brought back into our relationships. But how do we respond when we are criticized?
The following are some of the Biblical solutions for responding to people who hate, abuse and criticize you.
1. Our goal is to love others even as Jesus Christ loved men who had Him crucified. John wrote, "We love because He first loved us." (I Jn 5: 19) An agape love gives unconditionally without worrying about if the kindness with be reciprocated.
2. Be assured that the Lord will deliver you from whatever unjust criticisms you are facing. David wrote, "And the Lord will help them and deliver them: He will deliver them from the wicked, and save them because they trust in Him." (Psa. 37:40)
3. The Lord is far better at dealing with your accusers in His own way and in His own time. Job wrote, "They that hate you will be clothed with shame; and the dwelling place of the wicked will come to nothing." (Job 8:22) Moses wrote, "The Lord shall cause your enemies that rise up against you to be smitten before your face. They will come out against you one way and flee before you in seven ways." (Deut. 28 :7) Help people remember that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
4. Be confident that God will fight the battles for the righteous, loving and pure in heart. Moses wrote, "For the Lord your God is He that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies." (Deut. 20:4)
Quote: Know that circumstances do not have to be perfect before you can be joyful in the Lord.
Quote: "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome, overpower and overshadow evil with good." (Rom. 12:21)
Quote: Do not overemphasize hardships but rejoice that you can identify with Christ in your sufferings.
Quote: "You should be exceedingly glad when you encounter various trials, though now for a little while you may be distressed by trials and suffere temptations. So that the genuineness of your faith may be tested, your faith, which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. This proving your faith is intended to redound to your praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (2 Pet. 1:6,7)
5. Even when it appears that your opponents have gotten the better of you, be assured God’s deliverance is on the way. Job wrote, "In famine, he will redeem you from death: and in war from the power of the sword." (Job 5:20) David wrote, With God we will gain the victory, and He will defeat our enemies." (Psa 107)
6. Be calm in your reactions knowing that the Lord will not let anything harm you if you prove zealous for what is good." Isaiah wrote, "No weapon that is formed against you will prosper; and every tongue that will rise against you in judgment you will condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is from me, says the Lord." (Isa. 54: 17) Do not over react to provocation.
Quote: Do not be overly critical of your accusers. Do not overstate the difficulties you are facing knowing that many others are facing more adverse situations around the world.
Quote: "No temptation that has taken you but such as is common to man. But God is faithful who will not let you be tempted beyond what you are able. But with the temptation will also provide a way of escape so that you will be able to bear it." (I Cor. 10:13)
Quote:"Bless those who persecute you (who are cruel in their attitude toward you); bless and do not curse." (Rom. 12:14) The best way to pray for others is to pray for God’s best blessings upon their life and to love them from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. (2 Tim. 1:5)
7. Consistently ask the Lord for the ability to be delivered so that you can serve Him without fear. Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, "That He would grant to us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear." (Luke 1 :74)
8. Move in the paths that demonstrate your confidence in God’s ability to preserve good conditions for His righteous servants. David wrote, "For rod of the wicked will not rest on the lot of the righteous; lest the righteous put forth their hands to do iniquity." (Psa. 125:3)