Criticism- a nasty word. My mother always said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything!” Praise- is a beautiful word and to me, it’s the opposite of criticism. We all face critical people from time to time. These type of folks can really pull you down, lower than a snakes belly.
Some people will hide behind the false- negative of “constructive” criticism. Criticism is one thing, but Godly guidance and teaching is another. Christians should never be found being critical of another brother or sister. Have you walked in their shoes? Watch out! One day we might. Jesus faced critical Pharisees. They were always “straining at a knat and choking on a camel.“
These particular Sabbaths in today’s text, were probably, only, some of the many times these Pharisees wagged their tongues. Jesus was ready for their comments. Look at vs. 9. He asked them the question “Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?” I like to ask people who are afraid of what others might say about them this question: “How do you avoid criticism? The answer is simple. Say nothing- Do nothing- Be nothing.” I don’t know where I heard that, but it has stuck with me through the years.
I love the way Beth depicts the man with the withered hand. Her thoughts “behind the scenes” of possibly his life routine. It’s hard to do very much one handed. In those days, it would have doubled the work load for him. Jesus healed Him in front of the Pharisees very eyes, and vs. 11 said, “They were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.” Now that I don’t understand! What were they thinking? Why “bite the hand that feeds you?” I think, they realized, they were no longer in control, God was and still is today!
Now, I’m hearing the tune in my head: “Give up! Let Jesus, take o—0-ver….” That’s my song and now it’s time to pray! God bless all you sweet sisters!
Dear Lord, help us today to think before we speak, and if something critical comes up in conversation, help us reverse it and find some praise. You are always worthy of our praise. Touch all the ladies today that are in this study and continue to draw us closer to you. Surround them with your perfect love. Help us always to see the withered through your eyes of restoration and compassion. In Jesus Holy name- – Amen.
Keeping the Faith,