Criticized? Trust God to Defend You
There are always going to be people in your life who misunderstand you and people who don’t like you. There will always be people who criticize you, judge you, attack you, and spread rumors about you.
When you are misunderstood, you’re going to have a tendency to get in there and defend yourself. When you’re attacked, your tendency is attack back — just like the rest of us. When people criticize you, you want to criticize back. When people insult you, you want to insult them back.
Don’t do it! Let God be your defender. Every time you are under attack, criticized, put down, or misunderstood, you have two choices. You can defend yourself, or you can let God defend you. Which will it be? Who do you think can do a better job defending you? God can.
Pay attention to this: You’re most like Christ when you say nothing in the face of attack, lies, and unfair criticism. You’re most like Jesus when you remain silent and leave it in God’s hands.
When Jesus was insulted, “he did not answer back with an insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but placed his hopes in God, the righteous Judge” (1 Peter 2:23 TEV).
Even Jesus did not fight back in the face of his unjust conviction and persecution. He trusted God to defend him when it mattered most and to have the ultimate justice.
In the Bible, King David was criticized and attacked his entire life. In fact most of his life people wanted to kill him because they were jealous of him.
David said this in Psalm 62:5-7: “I depend on God alone; I put my hope in him. He alone protects and saves me; he is my defender, and I shall never be defeated. My salvation and honor depend on God; he is my strong protector; he is my shelter.”
A lot of people are going to be jealous of your success, too, and they’re going to want to attack you for many different reasons. But, like David, you need to let God be your protector, your Savior, your defender, your victor, and your shelter.
Let God handle it. Let him be your defense.
Talk It Over
- What are some practical things you can do in the moment to keep from speaking or acting in retaliation?
- Why do you think God wants us to remain silent when we are under attack? Why doesn’t he want us to try to prove that we are right?
- How does someone’s attack on your character say more about that person than it does you?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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