July 18

Blessings of adverse criticism

“Esteeming the reproach” (Heb. 11:26).
“Fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid” (Isa. 51:7).

An enemy is always more interested in our faults and shortcomings than in our excellences, and frequently takes pain to discover them and spread them abroad. If, instead of letting this excite us to anger, we use it as a means for restraining those faults—if we are more concerned in the endeavor to avoid the misdeeds for which we are criticized than the criticism itself—then our enemies, in trying to harm us, will have done us a great good. If in those very points in which they depreciate us we prove ourselves spotless, their testimony against us will lose weight, and their influence in our disfavor will die away. But, if we are merely indignant at the detraction, and wrathful with the detractor, we shall confirm his evil report in the minds of those who have heard it.

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