3 – Criticism
Theme Verse: “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2)
We can either focus on what people who don’t really know us think about us, or we can focus on what God, who has always known us, thinks about us.
“Meanwhile, Peter was in the courtyard below. One of the servant girls who worked for the high priest came by 67 and noticed Peter warming himself at the fire. She looked at him closely and said, “You were one of those with Jesus of Nazareth. 68 But Peter denied it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said, and he went out into the entryway. Just then, a rooster crowed. When the servant girl saw him standing there, she began telling the others, “This man is definitely one of them!” 70 But Peter denied it again. A little later some of the other bystanders confronted Peter and said, “You must be one of them, because you are a Galilean. 71 Peter swore, “A curse on me if I’m lying—I don’t know this man you’re talking about!” And immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Suddenly, Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he broke down and wept.” (Mark 14:66-72)
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” 6 “O Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” 7 The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. 8 And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 1:5-8)
“I know you, I have always known you, and I know you better than anyone else. When you know what I think of you, you don’t need to worry about what anyone else thinks of you.”
- Have you ever acted differently just to try and impress someone? Did it actually work?
- Have you ever tried to blend in with others around you like Peter did? If so, explain.
- Why did Peter deny knowing Jesus? In what ways do we “deny knowing Jesus” in our everyday lives?
- Why is it so hard for us (as humans) to face criticism?
- How can we help each other focus less on criticism and focus more on Jesus?