September 22, 2023 | Martin Luther – Day 33


“Although all of us cannot be writers, nevertheless all of us want to be critics.”

Martin Luther



Looks like Martin got a little criticism at one time. I know from experience that it’s very humbling to be on the receiving end of a critic’s rebuke. One can put their whole heart and soul into their writing and, in an instant, it can feel like garbage because of the sharp tongue of someone who thinks they know better.


That can happen with anything we work hard to achieve. We accomplish what we think is a finished product and someone comes along to show us the fault in our thinking. This is where pride kicks in. We can either accept the criticism or we can resist it, even when it’s intended for our benefit.


On the other end, we can critique out of spit or for building up. Whether we receive criticism or give it, attitude and honesty have a large part to play in how it’s received or given.


God through Paul in his letter to the Ephesians gave this warning, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29). Sometimes criticism is not received well because of the way in which it was given. Given in anger it is sure to be met with an equal part of defense, but given in grace, it serves as a welcome aid toward perfection.


James, in his letter said, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20). Above all we are called to be gentle in criticism, honest in our assessment and forthright in our intentions. Our evaluations are to be well thought out, informed and filled with good intentions.


And as we receive criticism, we are not to judge others just because we’re feeling judged, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you” (Matthew 7:1-2). Much of the criticism we receive is intended for our benefit even if it might hurt to hear it.


Today, think of criticism you have received and how it might have helped you, even though it was hard to hear. Thank God for directing you, even as you had to hear that your efforts were received well by everyone.


Our prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for working trough others who offer us helpful advice and help us to be patient with those who’s only intention is to hurt. Make us more like you and help us to realize Your place as the Judge of judges. Amen.