Silencing the Critics

olympic_champion_usain_bolts_running_spikes_auctioned_for_39000_8yb1lThe fastest man in the world is Usain Bolt, the Jamaican sprinter who literally and figuratively “bolted” out of nowhere to win the gold medal in the 100 and 200 meter dashes at  the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.  

Usain Bolt ran the 100m dash in 9.69 seconds as he set a new WR. He had less than a great start, and “showboated” as he crossed the finish line; yet and still he won “gong away.” He pulled away from the field at 80 meters and could have had a faster time if he had retained his near perfect form through the tape. Usain won the 200 by running 19.31, and won by an incredibly large margin as he again pulled away from the pack, and showed his critics that he was in fact for real.

To further silence the critics, Bolt also broke his Olympic record In Berlin a year later when he ran against his closest competitor, Tyson Gay, who challenged Usain in the 100m and took second.  He also broke the 200m record by running a 19.19 the IAAF World Championship Track and Field in Berlin, Germany. In stead of responding to his critics, he did his talking in the race. Likewise, we need to remember that “the Lord shall fight for us, if we hold our peace.”

We all have critics, and Usain’s critics gave him a hard time for being so brassy as he crossed the finish  in the 100m finish line in 2008.  Uphazed, Bolt took this criticism to heart.  In his book, Reversed Thunder, Eugene Peterson wrote, “The devil is but God’s master fencer, to teach us to handle our weapons.”  Our critics are actually doing us a favor: they bring out the best in us. 

Our critics/enemies don’t want us to succeed, they don’t want us to win, and they don’t want us to triumph. All the while they may use “trash talk” to discourage us in the process. But no worries –Jesus came to silence our critics.  When the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery to Jesus, they rebuked her and challenged Jesus to “do something about” the crime this woman had committed. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  The Law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”  “No, Lord,” she said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”  John 8:4-11, New Living Translation

Our enemies will leave us alone, because Jesus came to negate the naysayers.  Jesus came to oppose our oppressors. Jesus came to denounce the detractors.  Jesus came to silence the critics.

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