Today’s Scripture: But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord. 1 Corinthians 4:3–4
Never allow a barking dog to keep you from shining. The Sunday School Chronicle shares the story of a judge who was on circuit at a certain town. He could always anticipate some sneering remarks from a conceited lawyer. After one such occasion, someone asked the judge at dinner why he didn’t come down strong on the fellow.
The judge dropped his knife and fork, placed his chin on his hands, and put his elbows on the table as he gave emphasis to his story: “Up in our town, there lives a widow who has a dog which, whenever the moon shines, goes out and barks and barks at it all night.” Stopping short, he quietly began eating again.
One of the company asked, “Well, Judge, what about the dog and the moon?”
“Oh, the moon kept on shining.” However loudly and frequently the dog barked, it would not keep the moon from shining. The judge was not about to allow a barking dog to keep him from shining, either.
Critics are much like barking dogs. Some are motivated by bitterness and negativity; some are driven with advancing their own agendas; some are arrogant and judgmental; some criticize in an effort to highlight their intelligence; others use criticism simply because they dislike us.
Regardless of the motivation behind the criticism we receive, we are wise to consider its source, to consider its accuracy, to make adjustments in our actions when necessary, and to continue moving forward. Criticism can only keep us from shining if we allow it.
Maybe you have been criticized recently, and it stings. If you respond correctly to the criticism, it will not dim the light your life emits — it will cause you to shine even brighter. Commit the criticism to God in prayer, and ask Him to cause your life to emit an even brighter light.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.