We have heard that there are only two certainties in life, taxes and death. I am going to add a third certainty for anyone who strives to accomplish something great, and that is criticism. Criticism is rooted in envy and jealousy. Critical people are typically very controlling. Regardless of how strong you are, when you are the recipient of criticism it is hurtful. I recently heard a great biblical example of criticism in a sermon by Dr. Michael Yousseff that was based on the criticism that Moses experienced from his brother Aaron and sister Miriam in the book of Numbers.
Numbers 12: 1-2 says, “Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 'Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?' They asked. 'Hasn’t he also spoken through us?' And the Lord heard this."
Numbers 12:9-10, “The anger of the Lord burned against them, and he left them. When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous."
Numbers 12:13, “So Moses cried out to the Lord, 'Please God, heal her!'”
Even though Moses was the recipient of criticism, and would have certainly been justified in accepting the punishment that she had received, he asked for her healing and forgiveness. The story of Miriam and Aaron shows that even Moses was subject to criticism by his own family who was envious and jealous of his calling from the Lord. My takeaways from this sermon are:
If you are a critical person, pray that God will remove the critical spirit from you. Pray that he will work through you to encourage and build others up. It has been said that a good compliment can carry another person for an entire day, and sometimes a week.
If you are the recipient of criticism, pray that God will help you truly forgive the criticizer. Pray that God will bless them. This will release you from the constraints of that negative experience and the negative energy that goes with it.
If you are going to do something great, expect to be criticized. Just remember, that in order for someone to kick you in the butt, they have to be behind you!