Have you ever gotten a small fleck of dust in your eye that you just couldn’t seem to get out?  It’s there.  It hurts.  It’s annoying, and because of it, you can hardly see.  You keep blinking and rubbing just trying to get it out.  You know, it really doesn’t take much to mess up your eye, huh?  Well, that’s the way criticism is sometimes.  It doesn’t take much criticism to really mess up your day and make it hard to see clearly.

Criticism is like that.  It can really be annoying.  It can really hurt.  And, it can really make it hard to think or see things clearly.  To combat the power of the flecks of criticism in your life, let me offer you several things to consider:

1. Consider the Source
Some people are just complainers by nature.  It’s not okay that they are, but since they are complainers, you can expect them to complain.  Dogs bark.  You expect it.  Complainers complain.  Expect it.  So then, the weight of a complainers complaint should be diminished in the same way that the cries of the boy who cried wolf were ignored over time.  Consider the source, and if appropriate ignore it!

2. Consider the Consensus
The majority can be wrong.  (Especially when it comes to politics).  But sometimes, the consensus opinion has truth in it.  So, the consensus opinion is treated a little more weightily.  Consider the consensus opinion.  If most people are pleased with your work, attitude, performance, efforts, product, service, etc., then embrace the consensus.  You’re probably doing just fine.  If the consensus isn’t with you, give things a really hard look to make sure you’re on the right track.

3. Consider the Expert
Some opinions matter more than others.   For example, the opinion of an expert in a field matters more than the opinion of a novice or than the opinion of someone from a different field.  Think about it, if Tiger Woods comes along and gives you advice on how to improve your golf game, you should probably take his advice.  But, if Charles Barkley comes along and gives you some tips…well, I think you know where this is going.  Consider the expert.  He just might have something good or important to say.

4. Consider the Caring
We all have people in our lives who really care about us and have our best interests at heart.  They care about us, and we care about them.  They might be friends, family, co-workers, or whoever.  Though some people who care about us may try to shield us from the truth, those who truly want what’s best for us will shoot straight with us.  They will tell us the truth because they care.  So, we should consider the thoughts of those who really care about us.

5. Consider the Father
Ultimately, the opinion that really counts is God’s.  He is the One whose approval is most valuable.  In reality, in everything we do, we are performing for an audience of One.  We must consider whether or not the Bible endorses what we are doing and consider what God thinks about our efforts.  At the end of the day, we should be striving to glorify God and to please Him.  The other opinions don’t really matter as much.

One Final Note
Sometimes it can be really hard to combat that fleck of criticism.  It can get the best of us.  Even though we try really hard to consider the right things, bad thoughts and feelings can creep in.  The solution: live out Philippians 4:6-9.  Don’t worry.  Think about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.  And this, we must do all of the time.  Constantly tell yourself the truth.  Sometimes, you’ll have to be firm with yourself.  You might have to give yourself a little jolt to get your thoughts in the right place.  It’s going to take some work, but if we live this out, God will grant us what the passage promises…PEACE!