When conflict occurs, the natural reaction is to blame someone else and defend yourself. But believers must respond differently. Once, Dr. Stanley was publicly chastised for a wrong he had not committed. Thankfully, the Lord enabled him to remain calm rather than react angrily. Praying first is always the best response in a crisis. When we do, God supernaturally provides that which we can’t muster up ourselves.

Often when we are offended we see ourselves as victims and blame those who have hurt us. We justify our bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, envy, and resentment as they surface. When we blame others and defend our own position, we are blind. We struggle to remove the speck out of our brother’s eye while there is a log in ours. It is the revelation of truth that brings freedom to us. For this reason Jesus counseled, “Anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see” (Rev. 3:18-19).

We don’t have to react to criticism with anger and self-protection the way the world does. Instead, we are called to represent Christ in every situation by depending on Him. In responding as He directs, we bring Him glory and cause unbelievers to want to know the source of our strength.

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