Film Critics and Life

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

How did the critics grade it? Did it get a high or low score on Rotten Tomatoes?

Do you even care about their critique of the film? Of course not! It’s your favorite movie after all. So, you don’t care that it has a bad storyline, you watch it for the action. Perhaps, it’s the love story you enjoy, despite the bad acting. Maybe it does have great acting and storytelling, but the budget was so small that it’s a B-grade movie. None of these factors matter because it’s your favorite movie, period! You then forget, ignore, or never even bothered to see what the critics said because it would your favorite film no matter what.

Why then can’t we do the same when it comes to critics and criticism in our daily lives? We should and we can if we, Press on!

Steve Jobs said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Continue reading “Film Critics and Life”

Christians Should Praise In Public & Criticize in Private

“Don’t answer a fool according to his foolishness or you’ll be like him yourself.” (Proverbs 26:4)

UnknownDuring my undergraduate degree one professor gave me a piece of advice that has stuck with me for years. He said, “Don’t get into a peeing contest with a skunk because if you do you’re sure to get some on you.” This semi-grotesque statement has a simple truth to it, which is, there are some debates, arguments, and conversations that are not worth having, especially in public. Sadly, too many Christians I see on social media have yet to learn this lesson. As some of the worst Christian disagreements occur publicly on social media.

For example, too many Christian bloggers attack each other over semantics and nit-picky issues when we really have more in common in Christ. This type of public arguing does little to convince our critics from the culture. In fact, this confusion begins to make them ask,

“Do we know what love looks like”

Or,

“If they can’t love another then how can they love those who are not Christians?”

Therefore, we need to stop being foolish by not airing our sharp disagreement out in public. Rather we need to wisely discern to handle things in a private chat, phone call, or otherwise. In other words, we must consider the consequences and results from how we handle our differences. This is because Jesus prayed in John 17:23-25: Continue reading “Christians Should Praise In Public & Criticize in Private”

Hopeful Tip #1: Redirecting Negativity

“A hopeful person can never be critical!”

The above quote is the view many people have when they think of someone who is hopeful or optimistic. In truth, it’s an inaccurate view because we all critique things from time-to-time. Also, there is a difference between being critical and giving a critique. Here’s one example to show the difference.

“Some of the pastoral visits I see in the hospital break my heart…Clinical ministry is significantly different from congregational ministry and you must be prepared. For example, why wear gloves but not a gown in a contact precaution room? By not complying you are putting yourself, your member, and the entire community at risk! Beating someone up because there is “too much sin” in a person’s life is not particularly helpful either! If you want to be trained, I offer a 12-hour course that’s coming up that will introduce you to the basics!”

This example is from Chaplain Scott Fleming who began with a criticism, yet ended his comments with a hopeful critique. See, Scott begun by being critical to state a problem. Then he offered a viable solution. As a result, his solution became the hope for the problem. In other words, he did not leave his criticism unresolved because he knew the only way to return to hope is to provide a viable alternative.

images-2This is the difference between a critique and a criticism. A criticism alone tears down and rushes to judgment. However, a critique gives a brief criticism to graciously offer a hope to fix the negative situation. Being gracious is a key point. Not only does it help one to be better heard, but also by being gracious the critic is looking to be hopeful than judgmental. They are seeking to redirect life’s flaws towards a better hope than to retain the flaws they see. Continue reading “Hopeful Tip #1: Redirecting Negativity”