Daily Devotion

Handling Criticism the Right Way (1)

March 26, 2012

“Everything in me will celebrate when you speak what is right.”

Pr 23:16 NLT

Criticism will make you a better person if you do these three things: (1) Look beyond the criticism and see the critic. If it’s someone you respect, listen to what they say. If it’s someone who’s constantly critical, don’t place too much value on what they say; they’re probably just projecting their frustrations onto you. The story’s told of a twelve-year-old boy who hadn’t spoken since he was born. After being served oatmeal for breakfast several weeks in a row, he shouted, “Yuck, I hate this stuff!” His mother jumped up, hugged him and said, “We thought you couldn’t talk. Why haven’t you ever spoken to us?” Bluntly he exclaimed, “Because up until now everything’s been okay.” Some folks only talk when they’re upset. The important question is, does your critic sincerely want to help you? (2) Try not to take yourself too seriously. Let’s face it, we all do things we regret. But when you can laugh at yourself and learn from it, you’re growing into maturity. (3) Know the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Learn how to interpret criticism by asking: (a) In what spirit is it given? If your critic’s attitude is kind, rest assured it’s meant to be constructive. (b) When is the criticism given? When somebody criticizes you publicly, usually their intentions aren’t the best. (c) Why is the criticism given? “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out” (Pr 20:5 NIV). When people are hurting, they tend to hurt others. So always ask, “Was this criticism given for my benefit or out of personal hurt?”