“It is a very small thing that I should be judged by you.”
1Co 4:3 NRS
Paul writes, “With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you…It is the Lord who judges me” (vv. 3-4 NRS). Can you imagine viewing criticism as “a very small thing?” Or being liberated from the need to impress people; your self-esteem no longer dependent on someone noticing how successful, smart, or attractive you are? Think what it would be like to feel genuine love for someone who expresses their disapproval of you. Is such a life even possible? With God’s help, yes! One pastor says: “Years ago I wanted to lead a certain ministry. When I wasn’t chosen I became angry. Of course I didn’t show it. That’s not to say I didn’t love God. I just wanted to serve me more than Him! By saying no, God was correcting an attitude that would destroy any real ministry I might have later. When you represent God so visibly it’s nearly impossible for anyone to detect that you’re a fake…except God.” Ever hear of “approval addiction”? Its symptoms include living in fear of what others think of you; being easily hurt by what they say; a nagging sense that you aren’t good enough; constantly trying to impress important people. And like all addicts, you’ll go to any lengths for a fix. One author writes: “Many of my daily preoccupations suggest that I belong more to the world [than to God]. A little criticism makes me angry…a little praise raises my spirits…I’m like a small boat on the ocean, completely at the mercy of the waves.” Is this an issue you need to pray about today?