Handling Criticism

Handling Criticism

Perhaps we never say more about our Lord, our faith and our relationship with God than by the way we respond to criticism (cf. 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 4:12-19). The following quotes on dealing with criticism are well worth thinking about by Christians-

“If you are not big enough to stand criticism, you are too small to be praised.”

“It’s just as much a Christian’s duty to avoid taking offense as it is to avoid giving offense” (see Romans 12:18).

“If people speak ill of you, live so that no one will believe them” (see Proverbs 16 :7).

“No one can be harsh and severe in their criticism and judgment of others who feels the mild and loving eyes of Jesus are fixed upon him.”

It seems some people, even within the church, have the not-so-spiritual gift of criticism. Here are some helpful techniques for handling criticism.

(1) Watch Your Thinking. An extra helping of Philippians 4:4-8 is required when experiencing the withering heat of criticism.
(2) Watch Your Words. See passages like Proverbs 10:19; Psalm 19:14 and Ephesians 4:29 and meditate upon and better apply them.
(3) Watch Your Ears. Be careful who you listen to and to what. Mean-spirited criticism often would die a quick death if such did not often find ready hearers!
(4) Watch Your Prayers. We need to ask ourselves, “Have I humbly prayed about this matter, bringing it before God?” Are we praying both for the critics and for the criticized?

Jesus Himself was criticized although He was perfect. Without question, we’ll be criticized too. When there’s a kernel of truth in the criticism, learn from it. When there’s not, don’t allow yourself to be consumed by it. Admittedly, these practices are not always easy, but they are always right!

-Mike Vestal

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