As a faith leader, you have probably discovered, as I have, that no matter what you do, you are going to be criticized. You can do things with the proper motive, the right way, and at the appropriate time, and someone will find a reason to criticize you. Criticism is simply a part of life, particularly for leaders. However, I've got some good news for you: when people criticize you for doing right, you will be blessed! Jesus said Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:10). Blessed means fortunate and to be envied. In other words, you are fortunate and well-off and to be envied, if you are persecuted or criticized because you are doing things God’s way.
Get Free from What People Think
The most important advice I could pass onto you as a leader is not to be anxious, worried, or care about what people think of you! People are often wrong. They make misjudgments. Sometimes their intent is right, but sometimes it is not. Sometimes their heart is right, but their head is not. We all have our idiosyncratic ways. I guarantee you that if I followed you around for 30 days, I would walk away saying, "That person is something else.” Your assessment of me would likely be the same. Get free from what people think. None of us is perfect; we can all find fault. Remember that in the end, you will answer to God, not to anyone else.
Don’t Worry About It
The older and more mature I get, the more I understand the importance of 1 Peter 5:7: Casting all your care upon him, for he careth for you.Anxiety over what people think about you can lead to high blood pressure, heart issues, and many other physical ailments. Stress can cause professional, family, and marital problems. I’ve seen it divide employees from employers, children from parents, and husbands from wives. Worry is a powerful negative force that has landed many people in the hospital or even took them from this earth far too soon! Faith Leader – don’t let worry take you out!
Even Jesus was Criticized
Jesus was perfect! He never did anything wrong. He never said anything He wasn’t supposed to say. He never thought. Inappropriate thoughts. Everything Jesus did and said was in complete obedience to the Father, motivated from love for us. Yet, He was roundly and unjustly criticized. Isaiah 53:3tells us He [was] despised and rejected of men. Jesus, the Messiah, had people turn their backs on Him! Many influential religious leaders didn't want to have anything to do with the Lord Jesus. Why do we think that everyone should accept us, our opinions, our work, or our ministry? Jesus was rejected, but so many today believe everyone should accept them. Leader, everyone is not your friend. You have one Friend who sticks closer than a brother; His name is Jesus. Everyone else around you would more likely qualify as acquaintances. You won't know for sure who your real friends are until you get in trouble. When others abandon you, your friends will be there to help and encourage you!
Jesus knows what you are going through. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we [mankind] hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not(Isaiah 53:3) Our Lord didn’t get any pats on the back. Although He had some followers, no one fully understood Him, but how did He respond? Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4). Instead of berating or arguing with those who criticized Him, He went on and ministered to them.
The Proper Response
When loved ones, co-workers, church members, or strangers criticize you, don’t fight back. Stand your ground and continue to live and do right according to the Word of God. Peter instructed us on the best way to handle criticism. He wrote, Having your conversation [lifestyle] honest [good] among the Gentiles [those without a covenant with God]: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works which they shall behold [see], glorify God in the day of visitation [inspection] (2 Peter 2:12).
Leader, when people talk against you and call you an evildoer,although your lifestyle is Godly and holy,simply continue to do good deeds. People will keep watching to see if their criticism can turn you away from God, and when it doesn’t, they will give God glory because they will see God in you!