They cackle like hens
under the jealous glare
of the Master of Scorn
Instead of soaring like eagles
under the loving gaze
of the Heavenly Father
They peck and scratch and search
for crumbs of happiness
They can feast of joy’s fullness
at the Master’s Table
if only they’d look up
And when the teacher nears
they shy away
scampering here and there
Leaving him hurt and alone
to return to the Savior’s presence
where His angels await
At times God answers a prayer with a challenge; not because He wants us to have a difficult time or the answered prayer must be paid for. But because He wants us to know our worth.
Let me explain. Perhaps you’re cash-strapped. So you pray for finances or financial blessings. But God instead sends you a project that you’re paid for to do. The project may seem daunting or challenging. But it’s not because God wants you to struggle or have a difficult time. It’s not also because the project is a payment for the answered prayer. Rather it’s because God wants to reveal your worth.
In other words, God has supplied us with potential we may not even be aware of. He wants us to discover it and use it for His glory. Perhaps the project may even be an open door to other projects or opportunities.
God has created us and given us what we need for a purpose. Thus, he may not give us the answer to our prayers on a silver platter. But he wants us to build on the answered prayer so we may realize the beautiful creation that he made us to be.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. -Ephesians 2:10
We are told that criticism should always be constructive. Yet, one’s construction can be another’s destruction. In other words, no matter how constructive one thinks his criticism is, it could still be deemed destructive by the receiving party.
This is because it depends on the motive behind the criticism. Does the motive come from self-righteousness, envy, pride, hate, or some other negative factor? Or does the criticism come from a misunderstanding of the person being criticized?
One problem, I believe, behind the desire to criticize is that we see people and situations with the eyes of the self. We have eyes of criticism, ready to narrow down what the self deems as wrong without seeking to look at the whole picture. Thus, we may think our criticism is constructive, yet it hurts the person being criticized and does nothing to better the situation.
This is why the Bible exhorts us instead to be motivated by love.
Do everything in love. -1 Corinthians 16:14
How can we do this?
We focus on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8). In other words, we focus on Jesus Christ. We seek to see with the eyes of Christ.
When we see with the eyes of criticism, we see what’s wrong. When we see with the eyes of Christ, we see what’s beautiful.