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Session 18

Why you should keep cool in the face of criticism

Read: 2 Corinthians 10:1-11

Great leaders are fairly rare while critics are never in short supply. However, through the lens of time, do we ever remember the critics? 

The apostle Paul had his share of critics, to put it mildly. Whether it was from those in the church who questioned his motives, Jewish religious officials, or Gentile skeptics, Paul was often on the defensive. 

Paul may have been offended in many of those instances, but he never responded in kind. In fact, he opens the chapter like this, “By the humility and gentleness of Christ, I appeal to you...” (2 Corinthians 10:1).

When it comes to not bowing to the will of others, Paul is a great example. Paul was accused of being timid, but he wasn’t about to turn away from punishing those who continued to be disobedient (2 Corinthians 10:1-6).

When we face criticism and conflict, our actions and character will speak louder than words.

When we face criticism and conflict, our actions and character will eventually speak the loudest. In the meantime, the best way we can maintain our composure is through prayer, the encouragement of Scripture, and the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul reminds us our battle is a spiritual battle, not a battle with other people, and we have to fight accordingly (2 Corinthians 10:3-4).

When we tap into the power God gives us, we should never have to worry about critics or those stirring up trouble. In the end, we can find justification in the eyes of a Heavenly Father who loves us, and we can perhaps point them in His direction. 

Reflect:

  • Think back to the last time you faced conflict from a critic. How did you respond? What is one way you could have handled it better?
  • What is one thing you can do today to prepare for the next time you are criticized? 
  • Do you ever find yourself in the position of the critic? How do you express your criticism? What is one way you can build someone up even when you disagree with them?

1

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2

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3

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4

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5

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6

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7

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8

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9

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10

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11

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12

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13

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14

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15

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16

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17

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18

Why you should keep cool in the face of criticism

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19

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20

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21

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