Making Steppingstones

Vol. 6, No. 33 – August 15, 2021

Making Steppingstones

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair, persecuted, but not destroyed.  –2 Corinthians 4:8-9

Ideas often create conflict, disagreements. We can say that our moving forward in the plan of God for our lives (Jeremiah 29:11f), brings challenges and criticism. While we do not expect it, there are at least three general responses to ideas:

  1. It is impossible—do not waste the time and money
  2. It is possible but has a limited value
  3. I said it was a good idea all along

I am sure you can contribute more standard responses. What is our expected response? The right place is to go to the Word of God (2 Corinthians 4:8-9).

I heard one preacher say, Criticism of Christians is the language of the devil. God’s Word says the devil is the accuser of the brethren. We should familiarize ourselves with the Scriptures so that we can respond properly. Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her –John 8:7. Take care regarding what you say to another.

We live in a subdivision in the State of Georgia. Recently, there has been a pack of coyotes move into an area near the lake at the back of the subdivision. They are quite active and noisy. For a number of years people have released their cats and dogs to roam the neighborhood. Now they are surprised that the coyotes are having their pets for dinner. They are noisy because they want to make a point to other wildlife to stay away from their dinner.

God does not tend to use a strong voice to get our attention. It is generally His still small voice—quite effective. He rarely uses the rough growl of a coyote, with a blast of doom; this is not necessary for God to make His point. Criticism is like the growl of a coyote, the sound of self-promotion. If one sticks their head up to see what is growling, it may cost their life. God works from the inside out; the devil tries to work from the outside in.

Life Application

Whoever criticizes others to you, will also criticize others about you. If someone belittles you, they are attempting to make you reduce to their size. Statues handle critics the best. Learning that, it leaves us to think that what has happened to the statues in 2020-2021 difficult to understand.

You can always tell a person that is critical of right living. They throw stones, even pavers as we saw last year. Those who complain about the way the ball bounces are too often the ones who dropped it in the first place. If it were not for the ones manipulated to join the critics, the critics would soon be out of business.

Envy provides the mud that looters use for pavers to throw at the righteous and hard workers. Critics that throw simultaneously lose ground. Small minds are the first to condemn great ideas.

If people speak negatively to you or about you, live so that no one will believe them

Take the bricks and make steppingstones—steppingstones that lead others to find grace and mercy available to them from holy God. Make firm foundations with the bricks that others throw.

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Written by Dr. Larry Lightner

August 15, 2021

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