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Identifying Unfair Criticism

It was one of those rare professional moments. I didn't react nor did I get angry. I just listened as he went on for over twenty minutes. Most of the time his voice was loud and strident. His list of grievances seemed endless: this was wrong with the Christian education program, that was wrong with the way we were taking care of the church. I was at the center of all the criticism.

Suddenly, almost in mid-sentence, he blurted out, "She says all I'm interested in is sex." For the next hour we talked about his marriage. The 'issues' that had so troubled him were never raised again.

Every pastor has experienced getting 'dumped' on. It is part of the job. Sometimes the criticism is more than justified. But often the precipitating factor has nothing to do with the pastor's job performance. Here are several ways to distinguish a personal smoke screen from a valid criticism.

Has the person experienced a recent loss? For instance, the death of a loved one? Unresolved grief often does not rear its ...

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