Spirit and Life Devotional is a daily publication by Pastor Chinaemerem Ibezim, senior pastor of Able Ministers Chapel, a church based in Calabar, Cross River State.
“When he first arrived, he ate with the Gentile believers, who were not circumcised. But afterward, when some friends of James came, Peter wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles anymore. He was afraid of criticism from these people who insisted on the necessity of circumcision.” – Galatians 2:12 NLT
Criticism is defined as the action of expressing disapproval of something or someone.
The ministry of Jesus Christ was severely criticized, that’s one thing that is easy to see. He was criticized for working on the Sabbath, He was criticized for His words, He was criticized for associating with sinners, for letting His disciples eat with unwashed hands, and so on. In fact, the Pharisees and Sadducees were following Jesus about just to find faults in Him!
Many of us are afraid of criticism; we worry about public opinions; we make decisions and take actions in consideration of what people would say or not say; we fear being on the opposite side; we want to be safe, always, and because of this we have greatly limited ourselves in so many ways.
I think that the way to overcome the fear of criticism is to have convictions, to be established in the truth, and to be focused on your assignment. That was what Jesus did: when He was accused of eating with sinners, He told them that it was those who were sick who needed a physician and that He came to seek and save the lost. People will always talk anyway; some people will approve what you do and others will not. Be more concerned about winning God’s approval and doing what is acceptable to Him.