It’s become a common refrain in the internet age to just ignore people critical of us.
Don’t respond to them, you’ll hear social media experts say. Others will tell you that it will suck away your time into something that has no benefit to you.
I bought into that theory for many years. When someone could come along with a critical spirit aiming to tear me down to throw mud, I’d just ignore them under the guise of “turning the other cheek.” However, the more I read the Word, the more I don’t believe that Jesus wanted us to completely ignore our critics.
Look into the Gospels and you’ll see Jesus speaking directly to the Pharisees who were challenging Him at every turn. Whether it was an action He had taken or an action of His disciples, Jesus was always facing criticism from those who had motivations to keep the grace and truth and love that Jesus showed from spreading to the “sinners”. It also wasn’t something that he did once and never did again…He spoke to the Pharisees almost as much as those who were seeking out God’s truth.
If we’re to model Christ, I don’t see how we can just completely ignore and dismiss someone who is a critic.
I know in my personal past there were companies with which I had issues. I brought my complaints to them and in most cases found a willingness to at least hear me out. In some cases, they actually made a wrong situation right. In some cases, I was able to see why they did something that they chose to do and my complaint became irrelevant.
In almost every case, I went from critic to supporter.
In the end, don’t we want those who dislike Christ now to stay in that position. We want them to see the truth, have their misconceptions put to rest and accept Christ as their Savior.
We can’t really do that if we ignore them…we have to discern the times to engage them.
Just like Jesus did.