The Critic

I don’t know who said it, but the statement is certainly correct: “You can’t please everyone.” Even the scriptures teach us to be at peace with everyone, “as much as lieth in you” (Romans 12:18), implying that some folks just don’t want to get along. There is always a critic. They are first to find fault and they always know why it (whatever “it” is) won’t work. You could baptize half the town and the critic would complain about the poor use of water in our current drought. Jesus was no stranger to this kind of critic. During a period of intense scrutiny, He answered His antagonists with the following in Matthew 11:16:

“But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to their companions, and saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not lament.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘he has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by her children.”

His point was this: God sent John the Immerser in his austerity and desert isolation and they accused him of having a demon; God sent His Son whose life and associations reflected the normal culture of that time and they accused him of excesses and improprieties. In doing this they were like dissatisfied children who cannot be pleased, who will never be happy in any circumstance of joy or sorrow. And then, Jesus rebuked them!

It is a sad fact that in the church today, constant complainers exist. There is always a critic. This kind of people stunt church growth, cause strife, and hinder fellowship. They suppress Christian enthusiasm for public service for fear of constant nit-picking. They stir up resentment for church leaders, never satisfied with the efforts of elders attempting to foster increase in the Kingdom. They cause hard feelings to fester beneath a surface of feigned civility, driving wedges between brethren. And Jesus will rebuke them!

A Christian should not be numbered among those who practice discontentment. Instead, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Romans 14:19).