Allow me continue the lessons of Noah’s Ark with the theme “All I really need to know I learned from Noah’s Ark.” Today’s lesson is simply this… Don’t listen to Critics. Do what has to be done. The story of Noah includes a hundred years of daily criticism from people who didn’t know what they were talking about. Noah could have so easily given up because of all the backlash and disparaging comments, but he ignored them and continued to do what he knew he needed to do. Unfortunately, when not controlled or ignored, criticism becomes a killer of marriage, friendships, and more than likely every single relationship.
Now, please don’t misunderstand this lesson. We all know that feedback is important to have along with regular evaluation. It helps us improve, it keeps us accountable. But unfortunately, criticism is standard operating procedure in most families and businesses. If Noah had parked his thinking among the critics and stayed, he would have never gotten anything done. The lesson from Noah is simply don’t traffic with people who are consistently critical and negative in their behavior. If you do, at least two things will happen: 1) you’ll get negative yourself…it’s contagious, and 2) you won’t even attempt big goals and adventures.
Have you heard of Matthew Buchinger from Germany? He played twelve musical instruments, was an expert with a pistol, and he excelled in bowling, calligraphy, and magic. Those accomplishments alone could be remarkable, but consider the fact that he was only 28 inches tall and he had no arms or legs. I hope you’re in awe of him as I am. The point is, if you hang with people who say you can’t do something great, you won’t. If you hang with those that want to accomplish greatness, your chances of doing so increase tenfold.
The Apostle Paul put it this way in Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Now the context is clear. He had learned the secret of living with much and with little.
The secret is not focusing on the critics or the negative, but on the strength provided through a personal relationship with Christ.
Jesus Christ said in Matthew, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Check that out. In the middle of the negatives of life and the critical voices screaming to you and at you, remember this, a small faith directed to the right person (Jesus) makes all the difference.
In each of these situations and countless more, God says nothing is impossible! If you hang with people who say “You can’t do it,” you won’t. Just don’t listen to critics.