It has become a norm to criticize and argue about things in gatherings, Public transports, ATM queues and the likes and the most talked about topic after politics is religion. Have you ever sat in a place where people say the most ridiculous things about Christianity, or confronted about the doctrines of Christians or even become the subject of a malicious rumor because of your “behavior”? I think we all have had that experience. Now as a Christian, what’s the best way Christians should handle belief criticism?
First it is important to understand that these attacks are inevitable in a world like this. At the Last Supper in John 15: 18 – 21, Jesus made it clear when He said “ if the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you, if you were of the world, the world would love it’s own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” and He goes on in verse 21 to say “ But all these they will do to you for My name sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me”. So as a Christian, it is expected to be prosecuted, talked about, hated on as it is the cross we have to bare for serving Jesus putting in mind that it is lighter than lifting the cross and burden the world has to give.
Taking Jesus as an example, Isaiah 53:7 says “He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth, He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its Shearer’s is silent, so He opened not His mouth”. He accepted everything without arguments or anger, and what was His response? He prayed for forgiveness for those who attacked him. Luke 23:34, Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do”. This is the right way to respond to attacks, and this can only be achieved by loving your enemies like the Bible instructs us to do in Luke 6:27 – 31.
Another way to respond is by turning the other cheek. Matthew 5:38-42 says “You have heard that it was said an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also, and whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you and from him who wants to borrow from you, do not turn away”. Although it is true that we are humans and we are likely to respond to personal attacks with sadness, anger or bitterness, and sincerely it’s really not easy as we live in a world of clap backs and savagery, it is important to know that God wouldn’t want us to respond like that. The Christian Life is about the imitation of Christ. It is solely about Christ. We have to endeavour to live as He lived, 1 Corinthians 11:1 says “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ”.
The best way to respond to insults from people is to have the love of God within us and fix our eyes and mind above, when your eyes and heart is focused on God, it because easier to deal with it .