Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Dealing With Criticism

As in my previous post, I gained a lot of insight into my own ministry and how it fits into the grand scheme of things (or at least how it should fit) from reading A Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. One area that has been a “spark plug” of discussion certain areas of the online puppet community is criticism associated with Christian puppetry. The following is from the book:

It is also not our job to defend ourselves against criticism. If you serve like Jesus, you can expect to be criticized. The world, and much of the church, does not understand what God values.

Rick then cites the story of Mary washing Jesus’ feet in where Jesus’ very own disciples disapproved Mary’s actions.

But Jesus, aware of this, replied, “Why criticize this woman for doing such a good thing to me? Matt 26:10 (nlt)

Constructive criticism should be just that; constructive. Any other criticism should be judged for what it is worth and not taken personally. (I guess at some point this becomes a SHAPE issue or a forgiveness issue.)

I guess what needs to be gleaned from this is that if you are truly serving the Lord with a servant’s heart, it shouldn’t matter what others around you think. I know I am guilty (to this day) of wanting recognition or at least respect in the puppet community. I guess that there is something inside of us that inherently seeks the acceptance of peers. I know there are a few individuals that I felt their opinion of me gave me some sort of value as a puppeteer/builder. In retrospect, however, I realized the only evaluation that matters comes from God. He is my final judge and His opinion should be the one most important to me.

If my life is fruitless, it doesn't matter who praises me, and if my life is fruitful, it doesn't matter who criticizes me. –John Bunyan


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