Handling Criticism as a Christian
Criticism is inevitable in our lives. But it’s essential to respond to it in a way that represents God. Let’s discuss what criticism is and how we should handle it. You’ll learn how crucial it is to yearn for growth, pause, and listen to a critic.
What is Criticism?
Criticism is the articulation of objection or voicing out the faults or problems of a person. Criticism is hard to accept, whether at work or within your family.
There are three known types of criticism.
- Accurate criticisms are valid despite not being completely accurate.
- Inaccurate criticisms have some truth in them but are still incorrect.
- Malicious criticisms are motivated by envy, anger, frustration, and other negative agenda.
Our Common Reaction to Criticism
We often consider criticism a malicious attack against us because humans are designed to defend themselves for survival. That means we use excuses and denials as strategies to invalidate criticism.
Another common reaction we have to criticism is a counterattack. We shift the focus on the other party by returning the same harshness and accusations. You might be forced to attack their competence, knowledge, or even their appearance.
But these reactions are not supported by the Bible. Instead, we are expected to respond thoughtfully.
How to Handle Criticism
Here are some biblically appropriate strategies for dealing with criticism.
Yearn for Growth
Listen to advice and accept instructions, so that you may gain wisdom in the future. -Proverbs 19:20
God tells us the importance of wanting to grow through reprimand instead of running away from it or fighting it. Rise from failures and disappointments since God uses these situations to introduce new opportunities.
Take the story of David for example. He disappointed his people and killed Uriah in the war after sleeping with his wife. But David grew out of this bad behavior.
Even the kindest, godliest, and the most righteous person can receive criticism. Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, was heavily criticized that it led to his passion and crucifixion.
The truth is someone will always dislike your behavior or what you have. Instead of denying criticisms, accept them wholeheartedly and turn them into something positive. Consider it a God-given tool for a much-needed correction.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. – Proverbs 3:5-7.
There is strength in staying silent and pausing rather than letting your anger control you. Ask God for guidance on how you should manage the situation.
Being persuasive is part of living a pure life, starting with being attentive. Being quick to listen means we should consider what the other party is attempting to communicate. Examine what type of criticism it is and consider their recommendations. Perhaps God is speaking to you through this individual.