In Chapter 4 of Healing Your Church Hurt, author Stephen Mansfield presents and discusses a series of five questions to help us find life in the midst of our ministry downsizing or vocation loss. The first question is discussed today.
1. Of the things your critics said, what do you know to be true? During the process or in the aftermath of your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, you most likely heard stinging words. While you may have negated their validity at the time, now it is crucial that you ask yourself if those words just might have some wisdom.
Known as the “Billy Graham of India”, E. Stanley Jones generated controversy and criticism because he challenged traditional Western ways of evangelization in India. After years of reflection, however, he was able to conclude that his critics were “the unpaid guardians of my soul”.
Stephen notes that three things are required of us to have that same attitude:
1. We must consider the possibility that truth can come from those who opposed us.
2. We must stop replaying and replaying the verbal barbs tossed our way, evaluating them for their truth or falsehood.
3. We must remember to be grateful that God is offering us wisdom to live our lives even during the devastation of our vocation loss.
Today’s question: What truths about yourself have you learned from those who deeply criticized you? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Examining your inner Timmy”