Critics can be destructive, vindictive, invective and corrosive. Within ten seconds they can destroy what took a decade to build. But is this always the case? Definitely NO. There are critic that are God sent, guardians of our souls, our dream mates, iron come to sharpen iron. And only a fool will cry foul, send them to prison and throw the key away.
There two types of criticisms: constructive and the destructive. Whereas destructive criticism seeks to tear down, smear, raze, obliterate, vilify, cast slur and is vindictive, full of poisonous venom of hate and root of bitterness, constructive criticism has a pure motive and is from a pure heart.
It seeks to build, redirect; it is led of the Spirit, desirous to see the glory of God.
We all need such people in our camp- people who love us and want the best for us. These are dream mates God sends to us as armour bearers who care enough to tell us the truth even when it hurts rather than flatter us while we are on our way to hell. These people are seasoned, experienced, and bold and their tongues are a well of wisdom, a tree of life and apples of gold in the setting of silver. Everybody needs such people. They are not out to compete with you but to complement you. They are like God’s angels in your midst. They can lay down their life for you, but they will dare to speak the truth in love. They see where you have a blind spot. They feel where your heart has been seared. They hear where you have gone deaf.
We need to be discerning to identify those God has sent into our midst to help us keep on the straight and narrow. They are unpaid guardians of our souls and should not be shot on sight but embraced, accommodated and celebrated.
It is true that like all gifts, there is a process of growth and development and if you believe you have been misunderstood and given a left hand of fellowship, you need to examine yourself. Often the way we say things is more important than what we say. We all need to know how to use our gifts and talents especially in this area. We need to be sensitive and ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to say what He has asked us to say. We need to pray through before we speak- slow to speak and quick to hear. Our motive must be pure, for the common good, for the glory of God and not for selfish gains.
We must avoid being like Aaron and Miriam, Korah, Dathan and Abiram who were rebellious and wanted to tear down rather build up. On the other hand, Jethro came alongside Moses, saw that he was wearing himself out sitting morning till night judging the Israelite and told him it was not proper. That was a God sent critic. Moses changed his ways and appointed elders to share the burden. Numbers 16,
13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, "What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?"
15 Moses answered him, "Because the people come to me to seek God's will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God's decrees and laws."
17 Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied."
24 Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. 25 He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 26 They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.
27 Then Moses sent his father-in-law on his way, and Jethro returned to his own country. Ex.18:-27
King David had not only committed adultery but also murdered Uriah the Hittite and taken his wife, Bersheba. God was not amused. He sent Nathan, the prophet to confront him with his sin. Nathan was wise in the way he broached the subject. He told him a story that was loaded in meaning and David was caught napping.
2 Samuel 12
Nathan Rebukes David
1 The LORD sent Nathan to David. When he came to him, he said, "There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.
4 "Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him."
5 David burned with anger against the man and said to Nathan, "As surely as the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity."
7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master's house to you, and your master's wives into your arms. I gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. 9 Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'
11 "This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.' " 2Sam 12:1-12
This godly confrontation led to the repentance of David and eventually to the penning of Psalm 51, a classic psalm that has blessed many generations and still does.
That is the result of God-sent critics. They may not be prophets as such but people with pure hearts, pure motives who do what they do for His name’s sake, for the sake of the kingdom and in love for their brother or sister.