Here is another excerpt from C. J. Mahaney’s posts on The Pastor and Personal Criticism. I am reading these as my devotions because, first of all, I am critical and secondly, so I can better glorify God when I am criticized. I like to look up the Scriptures in my Bible instead of just reading them in the post. Looking up the Scriptures in my translation gives me a second review and also helps me remember where the verse is if I need to go back and read it again as I meditate or if I need to share it with someone else.
- The Pastor and Personal Criticism
- The Pastor’s Temptations when Criticism Arrives
- Learning Wisdom by Embracing Criticism
- A Kind and Painful Bruising
Criticism wounds. It’s painful. Not all wounds are faithful wounds—some wounds come from reckless words that pierce like a sword (Proverbs 12:18). But I’m not talking about the sting of reckless words in this post. Today I am writing about the sting of criticism that comes even from a faithful wound (Proverbs 27:6). Even from a friend, criticism wounds.
But have you ever wondered what criticism wounds?
I think the simple answer is that criticism wounds the sin that has not been mortified. A wise, older pastor once said to me: “C.J., what hurts isn’t dead yet.” And that is often what criticism wounds—my still-living, still-breathing pride.
Receiving criticism and correction is necessary, because it reveals the blind spots in my life and the pockets of pride that have not been put to death (Colossians 3:5, 12). Therefore we need correction. But by saying this I am not arguing that receiving criticism will be painless or enjoyable. Far from it!