Criticism or Prayer – How do we Respond?

I spend way too much time invested in pop culture.  Like… Way. Too. Much. Time. Taylor Swift did what? Adele is dating who? Jennifer Lawrence said that in her interview?! I could spend an hour watching Paparazzi videos on YouTube or going through my favorite celebrity’s Instagram. I know, I know… call me the cliché millennial.

Problem is, I also find myself getting really judgmental. I’ll say things like “These people are crazy” or “I can’t believe how immoral they are!” I think society does that a lot. If it’s not a musician or an actor, maybe it’s a politician? It’s so easy to discuss other people’s choices with a “how dare they” attitude, but is that our only response? When we see a headline of a celebrity getting arrested or releasing a raunchy music video, yet another anti-Trump or anti-Hillary ad, or headlines on the news of people across the country doing things we don’t necessarily agree with, is our first response criticism or prayer?

If we’re being honest, I think a lot of us respond first with criticism. We discuss the awful choices others make and express how disgusted we are. Now hear me out, it is absolutely okay to disagree with other people’s decisions, and it is a good thing to agree with God’s judgment. We can’t be tolerant of sin and we can’t brush it off to the side and pretend we didn’t see it. That’s not what God wants.

Who will rise up for me against the wicked? Who will take a stand for me against evildoers? Psalm 94:16

Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Ephesians 5:11

Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 2 Timothy 4:2

Yes, as God’s children it is our responsibility to speak out against sin. However, if our responses to people we disagree with are only coming from a place of “Thank God I’m not like that sinner” (like the Pharisee found in Luke 18:11), then we’re severely missing the mark. Unbelievers won’t respond to people who have a “how horrible are they” attitude towards them. They won’t respond to people who are so critical of their choices that they are lacking the characteristic of love. It is possible to disagree with someone and still maintain a loving attitude – “you don’t need to compromise convictions to be compassionate” – Rick Warren

Our most powerful tool is prayer, and we should utilize it. When we see sin – whether it be a celebrity or our neighbor – we should make it known that we do not approve. But don’t forget to pray for them.

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.  Romans 10:1

As it says in Luke 19:10, the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost. If we want to be effective witnesses to the lost for Christ, we need to demonstrate prayer for the lost as a priority.


Erin Culleny serves as a Marketing Assistant and Staff Writer. She loves encouraging women through her Victory Calls and finds such joy in praying for her sisters in Christ. She is so excited that after 5 years on Summer Staff, she now has the opportunity to serve at Keswick year-round. Her favorite activities include reading her Bible, encouraging others with scripture, buying new dresses, and eating at the Cheesecake Factory… In that order!

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