Constructive criticism - Hope 103.2

Constructive criticism

By David ReayWednesday 11 Oct 2017LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Acts 18:24-26

24-26 A man named Apollos came to Ephesus. He was a Jew, born in Alexandria, Egypt, and a terrific speaker, eloquent and powerful in his preaching of the Scriptures. He was well-educated in the way of the Master and fiery in his enthusiasm. Apollos was accurate in everything he taught about Jesus up to a point, but he only went as far as the baptism of John. He preached with power in the meeting place. When Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and told him the rest of the story. (THE MESSAGE)

Apollos was blessed. He crossed paths with Priscilla and Aquila. If he had crossed paths with different sorts of individuals he might not have been so blessed. Our text tells us he was passionate, eloquent and reasonably well-informed. But he didn’t have the full picture of Jesus. He was not teaching falsely but teaching incompletely.

Enter Priscilla and Aquila. They could have publicly taken him to task and publicly rubbished him. They could have overreacted to him and labelled him as a heretic. Or they might have privately, behind his back, muttered warnings to others about this wonderful speaker who was swaying them with eloquence. Steer clear of such an interesting speaker: stick with the dull and boring ones who are at least orthodox.

Instead, this fine couple took Apollos aside and offered some constructive criticism of his teaching. No public embarrassment or conflict, no whispering campaigns. Just loving suggestions as to how a good man could become better, how powerful speaking could convey deeper truth.

How many of us have been crushed by the wrong sort of criticism by envious or cold-hearted Christians? How many of us have been blessed by those who have the love and the time to show us a better way? Apollos’ later fruitful ministry owes much to Priscilla and Aquila. We owe much to our constructive critics.

David Reay