K.P. Yohannan: Overcoming Criticism in the Body of Christ

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K.P. Yohannan Founder of Gospel for Asia

Criticism is a great danger in the Church in our day where many are even thinking they are doing God a favour by being critical against others. K.P. Yohannan shares ways we can overcome criticism that is directed towards us and understand why people do these things so we can have empathy and compassion for them. Currently we are featuring on SermonIndex.net a sermon on Bitterness by K.P. Yohannan which goes into detail of why believers end up acting in these ways. Only with God’s help through forgiveness can we be freed of this sin and start to live in a way where we bless and not condemn others.

Read below what K.P. Yohannan says about Criticism:

In our world, it seems impossible to escape criticism. If we do poorly at school or at work, people will criticize us. Should we do well and excel in business, we still face criticism from people who are jealous of our success. It seems to be a favorite pastime of the human race to take one person after another, good or bad, and “skin them alive” with criticism.

What makes people act this way? Psychologists say one of the underlying reasons people criticize each other is to take revenge for the hurts they once received. Whether deserved or not, criticism is always painful. No one likes it. Yet people seem to enjoy themselves when others are cut down.

Most believers have accepted the fact that the world will criticize us regardless of how saintly we may live or how many charitable contributions we may make. However, I have found that the greatest shock and discouragement for believers come when they realize that they encounter this same heartless criticism from their brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ. Of course, God never meant this to happen. But many Christians have never allowed the Lord to cleanse their lives from this destructive behavior. It’s a very serious problem; and if it is not dealt with, it easily can destroy a church.

Imagine this: Jesus, the sinless Son of God, faced His worst criticism—not from the Roman government or from ungodly people—but from the most recognized and pious religious leaders of His nation. Paul experienced the same thing. His worst critics were people inside the Church, not the heathen he tried to win. In fact, he deals very thoroughly with this problem in his second letter to the church in Corinth.

Whether criticism comes from the world or from within the Church, it is important for us to know how we should respond to it.

Here are a few ways to Overcome:

1. Not To Pay Back – The Bible clearly instructs us in Romans 12:17 not to pay back evil for evil, which means we must not lash out and respond in anger in the same manner we were treated.

2. Maintain Love – On the contrary, God wants us to respond differently. We are to maintain our love for the brothers and trust the Lord to handle our defence. Only if we do this will the cycle of destructive criticism be broken.

3. Say No to Discouragement – The feelings of deep hurt and discouragement that follow criticism can easily bring us to a point of despair, giving up our calling or even suicide. In no way must we allow this to happen! If we give in, the enemy has reached his goal of stopping us from building God’s kingdom.

4. Look Objectively – The best we can do when we receive criticism is to look at it objectively. If the accusations are simply empty talk, we should dismiss them and by God’s grace go on with our life.

5. Be Willing to Change – Lastly, On the other hand, if there is any truth in the criticism, let us be willing to change, improve and grow in that area.

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K.P. Yohannan: 3 Reasons Why Our Hearts Become Hard

kp-yohannan
K.P. Yohannan

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him” (Jeremiah 18:1-4).

We see the picture of a Potter with the clay, working on it over and over again. He was able to re-shape the clay because it was soft. In our Christian lives our hearts can become hard and therefore God is not able to speak to us or help us change our ways.

Let us listen to Bible teacher K.P. Yohannan as he gives us 3 reasons for our hearts becoming hard and 6 wonderful remedies for our heart to remain soft in our walks with God.

What Causes Our Hearts to Become Hard?

1. Being poisoned by negative talk. One person in a church or ministry is dissatisfied, bitter, critical and unwilling to change. He starts to talk negatively and poisons others. Soon the atmosphere of love among the brothers and sisters is replaced by disunity, anger and hardness of heart toward each other and the Lord.

2. An elevated view of ourselves. We feel important because we do something significant for God’s Kingdom, and we don’t recognize that our heart is filled with pride, arrogance and an exalted view of ourselves. Often the symptoms don’t show up until years later when our heart is no longer soft in the Potter’s hand.

3. Rebellion. Any form of rebellion is like a tiny seed that, if not dealt with, will grow and eventually harden our heart and bring destruction. It begins with a tiny issue or a thought like this one: “Who does he think he is to tell me what to do? My life is none of his business!”—and it ultimately ends in death.

What Should We Do to Keep Our Hearts Soft?

1. Don’t take God’s grace for granted. Grace is given to those who are humble, not to those who are right or feel indispensable.

2. Watch over your heart (Proverbs 4:23). Don’t keep company with those who spread negative talk, sow disunity or have a rebellious spirit. Love them and pray for them, but have no part with them. Believe me, you and I are not strong enough to withstand the poison they spread. It’s in the atmosphere, and we breathe it in whether we intend to or not.

3. Submit to one another (Ephesians 5:21). Don’t fight for your rights. Be willing to give up something. Learn to let it be.

4. Don’t think of yourself more highly than you should (Romans 12:3). Remember that all the gifts, talents and ministry you have are given to you by the Lord. Nothing is of yourself. It’s all God’s grace.

5. Be careful from whom you receive your counsel. That’s especially important when you are disappointed because your expectations are not met. Don’t go to a brother or sister who is not mature in the Lord and who sympathizes and agrees with your complaints and tears. Instead, go to someone who is mature and who can help you see the hand of God and His purpose behind the things you face.

6. Repent and run to the cross. If need be, do this a thousand times a day to maintain the tenderness of your heart. Whenever you seek the limelight, want to take credit, get hurt or when your expectations are not fulfilled and your plans don’t work out, don’t fight; go to the cross.

God always seeks to do one thing with us on the Potter’s wheel—not to make us more powerful and famous, but to make us more like His Son, the Lord Jesus.