How To Take Criticism | The Institute for Creation Research
How To Take Criticism

"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning" (Proverbs 9:9).

One of the most difficult lessons for Christians to learn is how to take criticism. The natural reaction is one either of resentment and desire to lash back, or else one of discouragement and quitting. Neither is honoring to the Lord.

Remembering that "all things work together for good" (Romans 8:28) to the sincere Christian believer, we should first of all consider the criticism as potential "instruction" from God as well as from the critic. We should seek to test the criticism as objectively as possible, in light of our actions and the Scriptures, the most probing critic of all. "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword . . . and is a discerner |literally 'criticizer'| of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).

If it turns out that the criticism is even partly valid, then the obvious course is to take the appropriate remedial action, and to do it as prayerfully and graciously as possible.

On the other hand, if an honest evaluation of the criticism reveals it to be unwarranted, or perhaps even deliberately false and hurtful, then our example becomes Christ Himself. He never did or said anything to merit criticism (as we do, far too often), but He received it in great abundance.

What was His response? "When He was reviled, [He] reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously" (I Peter 2:23). We should remember that "a soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger" (Proverbs 15:1).

By all means, we must not become discouraged into retreating or quitting, "For consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds" (Hebrews 12:3). HMM

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