When the Spirit comes, there is new power and new understanding. There will also be critics.
On the day of Pentecost, when the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, the crowd thought they were drunk.
12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”
13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”
The only way to avoid criticism, so says writer Elbert Hubbard, is to “say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” Of course, you could go through life like a feather on the breeze, blown every which way by everyone else’s opinions. But why would we let people on the sidelines determine the course of our lives?
Anything worth doing will invite criticism. Every time you set out on a mission to the world, some people will complain. Especially from people who themselves are unwilling to take a risk. Who sit on their couch and hide behind their computer keyboard.
Don’t let the critics stop you from doing God’s will.
Keep in mind that sometimes the criticism comes from within the church, or even within ourselves! Why is that? Pastor Brad suggested that perhaps it is because we prize rationality. We like for life to be structured and predictable. And yet God will not be contained in a nice little box, will he? while we like rationality, the Spirit is irrational. The Spirit does not conform to our plans. The Spirit is wild and uncontained and unexpected and we cannot control it. We cannot control the Spirit of God. Our best hope is to be controlled BY the Spirit.
O God, give me boldness to proclaim the good news of the resurrection of Jesus without fear. Do not let me be discouraged by those who criticize. Let me derive the value of my life not from the opinions of others but from the well of your great grace, who made me in your own image, for your good purposes. In Jesus’ name. Amen.