How to Get Rid of Critics
Whether we want to admit it or not, all of us have experienced naysayers.
They’re the people who thrive on discouraging us from accomplishing our goals (a jealous coworker), point out our faults (those who may not understand our walk with Christ frequently enjoy doing this), and will do whatever it takes to sabotage our best efforts (a friend who stabs us in the back a time or two). Critics are abundant in every aspect of our lives—personally, professionally, and even spiritually. What does the Bible suggest we do?
A Case Study for Dealing with Critics
The book of Nehemiah is a narrative history, detailing the story of rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. Nehemiah was an ordinary man gifted with the ability to lead. He trusted God and remained faithful during his trials.
Nehemiah left a position of responsibility in the Persian government to follow what God called him to do: Rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. King Artaxerxes granted Nehemiah permission and he organized the rebuilding mission. Nehemiah faced many critics. His work was met with insults, ridicules, threats, and even sabotage. In each case of opposition, Nehemiah employed a different strategy to respond to criticism.
A lot can be learned from this Old Testament leader on how to handle the critics in our lives.
3 Biblical Ways to Get Rid of Critics
1. Prepare for the haters.
Nehemiah heard opposition was heading his way and he prepared by guarding the city. Some Jews wielded shields and weapons as they were rebuilding. It was an exhausting task, but by staying focused on the goal, Nehemiah and the Jewish workers were determined not to let threats interrupt their work.
We cannot avoid haters, but we can prepare for them. We prepare spiritually for critics by guarding our hearts with God’s truth to protect us from the lies the enemy throws our way (Ephesians 6:10-16).
2. Pray for the haters.
When critics scoffed and mocked Nehemiah, he chose to ignore their insults and pray for God’s justice to be carried out (Nehemiah 4:4-5). Nehemiah trusted his prayers would be heard.
One of the hardest things to do is pray for those who hurt and discourage us. But the Bible emphasizes the significance of doing so. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9). How much easier it would be to retaliate and seek revenge, but Jesus commands just the opposite and then promises His blessing. How comforting it is to know when someone is hating on us we will be blessed by God if we earnestly pray for that person?
3. Focus on God’s promises.
When Nehemiah’s workers grew weary he reminded them of their protection and provision from God (Nehemiah 4:14). He reminded them of God’s purpose for their project and encouraged them to persevere.
The criticism we face is only temporary.
When we are being discouraged or see our peers being criticized, it is important to recall God has a special purpose for the work you are doing. Remember that Jesus faced critics and prevailed. Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Jesus paid the price of criticism, so we can experience abundant peace and harmony.
Critics are bound to come our way. We can prepare ourselves, pray for our critics, and remember God is faithful always. Jesus gave His life so we can have peace. Relish in the fact that the criticism we face on this side of eternity is temporary and praise the One who made peace and harmony possible.