Why are you so critical? Don't you know that when you bash others, you make yourself look bad?

Paige answers:

I appreciate your concerns about my approach!

There are three things I must cover in response. First, the dominant philosophy in our current society is that telling the truth is hateful. The truth sometimes hurts, but that doesn’t define it as being either hateful or hostile. We often try so hard to validate other people’s feelings and keep from offending them that we end up lying to them, which is far worse because it nullifies their conscience, disabling them even more. The Bible teaches that when we use flattery, we are committing an act of violence (Prov. 7:5 LXX). Even worse, we are elevating a person’s ego over the truth, which results in self-worship. A godly love for one another motivates us to tell the truth (1 John 3:18). It is this kind of love that inspired me to write DWSD.

Second, we have a tendency to call the person who tells us the truth critical when we don’t like what they say. This is why outsiders to our faith erroneously call the Bible “hate literature”. They simply don’t like to be told what to do because it flies directly in the face of their selfish motives (humanism). We need to love them enough to warn them that true freedom does not lie in breaking God’s rules, but in submitting to them. Remember that God chastens those He loves. It is a privilege to be admonished by our Father because it is proof not only of His love for us, but also of our heavenly citizenship. The way we take “criticism” from Christians therefore matters very much (see 1 Cor. 11:31-32).

Third, "godly judgment" (mislabeled as criticism) is the ability and responsibility of believers to recognize and uphold truth and righteousness (John 7:24). When I wrote DWSD, I was responding to the conflict I saw between what today’s church considers acceptable for women and what God’s Word considers acceptable for women. There is a clear discrepancy between the two and too few are willing to confront it. It is so important for us to be willing to see this disharmony within ourselves and respond to it not with pride, but with humility. “Sacrifice to God is a broken spirit: a broken and humbled heart God will not despise” (Ps. 51:17 LXX). God says that He respects “the humble and meek” and the one who “trembles” at His words (Is. 66:2 LXX). The humble and meek are not easily offended because their egos are not inflated. They are willing to take instruction, which makes them wise. If something in your life conflicts with what I’ve said in DWSD, and you feel the brokenness of conviction, please look to the Lord in penitence. Ask Him to examine your heart and reveal to you the truth. Then turn to Him for deliverance, because only He can give it.

While it is certainly not my intention to upset people, I must at the same time confess that I am not motivated to please people (Gal. 1:10) or itch their ears (2 Tim. 4:3). My motivation is to tell the truth, keep the truth, defend the truth, and please God by it. I understand that many in the world would misjudge me for that, but it is my hope that they will one day very soon come to know the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Thanks for reading!

Paige


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