(The following is the March 24 devotional from my Next Step Devotions book. Before reading it, I suggest you read Luke 15 and pay close attention to verses 1-2.)
Jesus was no stranger to receiving complaints. They usually came from religious leaders upset with his actions or words. Luke writes, “All the tax collectors and sinners were approaching to listen to him. And the Pharisees and scribes were complaining, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them’” (vv. 1-2).
When have people complained about you (justly or unjustly)? Maybe a boss criticized your attitude or the quality or volume of your work. A neighbor may have disliked something you did on your property. People may gripe about how you dress or groom yourself. Even in church, people might object to another’s beliefs or behavior. It is easy to find people eager to criticize.
Some criticisms we receive are legitimate. Our boss can call us out if we fail to perform at work. But there are times when the issue is a matter of personal choice or biblical interpretation, and we are confident in our actions even if others disagree. On such occasions, navigating our relationship with complainers is more challenging while staying true to our conscience and biblical convictions.
Jesus was perfect, yet opponents found fault with him regularly. We might even say they did so because he obeyed the Father. Did he change his ways to suit them? No. He knew what was right and stayed the course of truth and faithfulness.
We must not allow others’ criticisms to derail us from obeying Christ and his Word. If nobody complains about how we live out our faith, then maybe we are not doing all we should do for Christ. Our goal should not be to receive complaints, of course, but neither should it be to allow others to dictate if or how we follow Christ.
Has anyone complained about you regarding your Christian faith or service? If so, why did they complain? How did you respond? If nobody is critical of your Christian walk, why not?