Solomon, Paul, & Booker T.
Solomon asked, above all else, for God’s wisdom. Toward the end his life, Solomon penned what his long life had taught him.
“Do not pay attention to every word people say, or you may hear your servant cursing you
– for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.”
Whoops! Remember the saying that when you shoot a gun, one of your fingers is pointing to the target, but three of your fingers are pointing at yourself.
~How often have we ourselves criticized others in thoughts, words, or deeds?
~How does the criticism we receive from others relate to the criticism we direct to others?
~How does criticism, received or given, harbored in our hearts affect our own lives?
~If, when we are criticized, we attack back, we are only returning evil with evil.
That road leads to hell, even in this life. With Christ within us, we can
choose the higher road. It is summed up in a few life-changing lines from
1st Corinthians 4:12-13:
“When we are cursed, we bless;
when we are persecuted, we endure it;
when we are slandered, we answer kindly.”
Booker T. Washington, 1856-1915, is an amazing example of one who did not let criticism stand in his way. This educator, orator, author, civil rights leader, and advisor to American presidents endured more criticism than we could imagine. Born a destitute slave in Virginia, he graduated from Hampton University and Wayland Seminary in Washington, D.C.. Mr. Washington founded Tuskegee University, the first college in the Deep South for Afro-Americans.
Up from Slavery, his autobiography, is well worth the read.
His response to criticism: “I will permit no man to narrow and degrade
my soul by making me to hate him.”
~How do we merge these sayings of Solomon, Paul, and Booker T. into our musical lives?