Haters

Muppets Haters Gonna Hate Statler Waldorf T Shirt Haters

I heard Rick Warren make a statement recently I’ve been thinking about since:

“Never criticize what God is blessing.”

For some people, this is really difficult. For whatever reason, some believe that if a church or ministry prospers, they must be doing something wrong. They are “watering down” the Gospel, they are feeding people’s selfishness, using worldly methods, etc.—fill in your own favorite.

In sports, we call such people “haters”—those who dislike players because simply because they are successful. In ministry, there are haters too. They dislike churches that grow, churches they lose members to, churches that always seem to catch all the breaks. I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of this conundrum–and can testify it’s an enormous waste of energy for all parties that could be far better spent elsewhere.

I know some will say they aren’t “haters” but rather “prophetic” or “concerned.” No one wants to be labeled a hater. So we caricature, exaggerate, attribute poor motives—so our “haterhood” comes off as standing for depth instead of shallowness, community over crowds, or “Gospel” over marketing. Straw men are erected and slain.

Criticism as feaux-godliness. Nice.

The Pharisees said Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebub. Jesus called it a sin. Perhaps an unforgivable one. What was the sin? Blaspheming the Holy Spirit by attributing to Satan what God is doing.

You might do it differently.

You might disagree with their methods.

You might even be a tad envious (by the way, this is hard to admit).

Just don’t criticize what God is blessing. He doesn’t like it.

Strive instead to be a person or church that God blesses, rather than resenting those He does. Thank God for blessing others. Ask God humbly to bless your church as well for His glory.

This is a far better use of emotional energy.

***Note: content adapted slightly from an original post from 2011. Haters

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on ChurchLeaders.com, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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