Dealing with criticism

How good are you at dealing with criticism?

Me neither! Lol

When someone criticizes us we usually have an instinctual, impulse reaction (which is probably negative). We can immediately dismiss what the other person said, think ungenerous things about them, and go about the rest of our day with a proverbial storm cloud over our head.

But Proverbs 15:31 (NLT) says, “If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.”

So what I’m about to say presumes that the person is trying to be constructive—that they are trying to give, as the NIV translation puts it, a “life-giving correction.”

First, take some time. When someone shares some criticism we need to create some emotional distance from our instinctual, impulse reaction (which is often negative) and the words that have been offered to us.

Second, when you’re feeling more in balance, make sure any negative feelings you have toward that particular person aren’t clouding your assessment of what they said.

Third, pray to God to see if there is any truth in their words. If you’re not sure, look up relevant passages in the Bible to confirm how you should live as a disciple of Jesus. If you’re still not sure, talk to a trusted and wise Christian for their input.

This advice isn’t theoretical; it’s personal. I’ve taken it myself many times!

Criticism is usually about as welcome as a thunderstorm at a baseball game. But if it’s intended to be constructive, it may actually help you.

If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.

By Matthew Ruttan

–“Up!” is published 5 days a week (Monday – Friday) and returns on December 16.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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