Critic’s Math

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:58

Not long ago I had a chance to attend a leadership conference where I heard a gentleman named Jon Acuff speak on challenging ourselves to do the impossible.  He presented a concept that I’ve found to be resoundingly true.

He called it “Critic’s Math.”

It goes something like this:

1 insult + 1,000 compliments = 1 insult

It makes perfect sense, does it not?  We tend to be approval hogs.  We like consensus.  We crave support.  We care what other people think.  So when someone hurls a careless word at us or criticizes something we are doing, we tend to dwell on it.  We tend to ask “Why did they say that?”  If we allow it, it can paralyze us with fear and cause us to fall into the trap of inaction.


Here’s the second part of “Critic’s Math”:

The critics only get louder when you do something that matters.

Wherever you’re leading—your company, your classroom, your church, or your home—if you’re hearing the critics, you’re probably doing something worthwhile.

Take heart in this… one faced and overcame more critics than our Lord Jesus!

In the opening scenes of the Gospel account of John, Jesus faces his first critic.  No healings have occurred, no miracles have taken place, no Pharisees have put him on the spot—and yet he faces skepticism:

Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.  (John 1: 45-46)

Yet despite his early critic, just a dozen verses later in John chapter 2, we see Jesus performing his first miracle, turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana.

I’d say he got over it pretty quickly!

Let me present you with a new formula for when the critics come calling:

You + God = A MAJORITY

With the Creator of the Universe in your heart and by your side, nothing under Heaven will be able to derail your work for his Kingdom.  Therefore be courageous, stay strong, “stand firm”, and “let nothing move you.”

Today, serve God well, no matter the opposition you might face.  Trust fully in him and “know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

Tim Hiller

Tim Hiller is a former collegiate and NFL quarterback who uses the platform of his celebrated football career to serve others—sharing his faith and experiences through speaking, writing, and his work with Next Level Performance—leaving a lasting impact on all who hear his powerful message.

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