Read 2 Peter 3: 3-9
John Schlitt sang about being a Christian in the group PETRA. When he sings, “he brings home the bacon”. He sang THE LAST DAZE, based on 2 Peter 3:3: “First off, you need to know that in the last days, mockers are going to have a heyday.”
Mockers. You know, critics. They put me into a daze sometimes. How do you deal with critics?
For 20 years, this writer was a high school varsity basketball coach. While coaching a losing team one season, this coach felt like he was in a daze. Everything we tried that year went wrong. I was “roast coach.” We were outmanned and outcoached. We needed time and a lot of practice. Could a simple basketball season seem like a thousand years? No, but I considered it.
I was in a daze much of the time. I couldn’t sleep. I learned a lot. I dealt with it by talking to my wife and my family – that helped me keep things in perspective. One thing I learned is that a team that has a losing record can be very desperate.
I have observed that people who are struggling in life can also be desperate. Have you ever felt that way? How do you deal with it? How do you deal with criticism? Critics may be helpful if I have the right attitude.
Ignoring them may not be effective.
Peter was talking about the return of Christ, and that he does not want anyone to perish without knowing Him. In verse 5, Peter talks about how scoffers ignored talk of the flood (Gen 6 and 7). How do you think that went?
“The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.” (7:24)
Have you noticed that Jesus constantly encounters critics? The leaders of our churches, schools and states have certainly felt bewildered and in a daze during the pandemic. It is a true test of Christian leadership! The critics are everywhere and these leaders are trying to do the right thing. Someone always disagrees. It is my hope and prayer that they can deal with critics in a positive way.
Peter said in verse 8 that “With the Lord a day is like 1000 years, and 1000 years are like a day.” He doesn’t want anyone to perish. He wants everyone to know and accept Jesus Christ as THE Son of God.
If I am a Christian, then I deal with critics with a Christian response so “everyone” can see Christ living in me:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant.”
1 Cor 13:4
“Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Jesus listened to critics with gentless, kindness and patience.
How about you?