Saturday, July 21, 2012

Embracing Criticism

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults-unless of course you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own.” (Matthew 7:1-2 MSG)

Perhaps some people really think they are being helpful when they point out someone else flaws or what they are doing wrong, but communicated in the wrong way they can have the opposite impact of what they may have intended. I am probably an example of one of the worst people to accept criticism; I immediately get defensive and the walls go up! Regardless of how justified someone’s criticism may be to them, it can feel like a personal attack and put me in a negative frame of mind and have a negative effect.


We can learn to receive personal criticism in a God-honoring way. Instead of being defensive or resentful about the criticism we receive, we can appreciate it and welcome the opportunities it (could) bring. It’s possible that there is a grain of truth in what is being said, and only by patiently listening will we either benefit from it or correct any misunderstandings. It’s important to try to keep in mind that every criticism is just someone else’s opinion and if we’re doing what we know to be right there’s no reason to fear or reject the criticism of others.

The best way to handle criticism from others……

Don’t take it personally~

Maintain an attitude of humility~

Give an honest ear and look for seeds of truth that allows personal growth~

Consider it as a source of honest feedback, but don’t dwell on it~

Don’t harbor a grudge and treat them with kindness~

I have learned that often the best response is no response; we don’t need to justify ourselves to everyone who disagrees with us. God made us who we are with both the gifts and the rough edges; He wants us to grow, but He also loves us the way we are. We don’t need to be a slave to the opinion of others, impress or look for their approval, and we don’t need to tear ourselves down when someone else criticizes us. A good example to keep before us is the Lord himself; He was criticized by his own family and even his disciples who often misunderstood him and challenged his motives. But He responded with patient teaching, love, and forgiveness. We can’t always control what other people will say to us, or whether they’ll approve of how we act, but we can control how we internalize it. Our response should be graceful and humble, and then we can release it and move on. We should listen to criticism and advice and learn from it, but also live and act true to what we know is right, honorable, and valuable.

"I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me." (1 Corinthians 4:3-4)


  1. Denise,

    How very true this post is...I think you aren't the only one that has a hard time accepting criticism. Criticism, no matter how it is delivered, is simply hard to hear...But, your points were exactly on point, in my opinion. Try to do his will, yet have an open ear as we are not all perfect :) As usual...great post! Erin

  2. It is hard to deal with critical people. But I guess there are times when it is justified. I always feel there is a kind way to do so though. I need to listen and then go to the Lord to see if this is true. I'm sure there are many areas of my life that need changing though.

    Something to think about. Thanks Denise!

    Blessings and love,

  3. Hi Denise,
    If someone's criticism is unfounded, then it is an insult..however, according to Matthew 5:11&12, we are to react to an insult with rejoicing and gladness.( if it is for Jesus' sake) Any other criticism will fall into the category of constructive, although it must be delivered with love and with the Word of God.
    ~Love & Blessings~ Lisa

  4. Denise, a wonderfully written post. Oh I am like you with the walls going up. I do not want to be hurt. Even though through my journey to healing, I have improved some what and understand more when people do that is because of their issues and not mine. But, still, the sting of someone else's words can have an effect on me still. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

  5. A post full of truths....that I need to remember

  6. Rich spiritual nuggets you shared Denise. I tend to take criticism a bit too personal.

  7. Well, you know me. I don't take to criticism well because most of the people doing the criticizing are usually in attack mode. But as you said...we can control how we internalize it. Your list on how to handle what they say is great. Now...if I can only remember it next time!!

    Blessings and hugs to you Denise...Chelle

  8. We all have walls and sometimes we just gotta let those walls down so God can do some healing, and until we let them down we only hinder ourselves from receiving what Jesus wants to give us...Great post Denise, how are you doing?

  9. WOW sister, another incredibly powerful post! I have been praying continually for an increasingly humble attitude in my heart. This is such a great reminder to me that the process of refinement comes in many venues!
    Love and hugs,

  10. I found your post on another blogger's favourite list and I absolutely LOVED this. This was a great message and something that I definitely needed to read. Do you mind if I share your post with my youth group :)? New follower!

    Elise @

  11. "It’s possible that there is a grain of truth in what is being said."

    I've learned to be humble and try to see what others see.

  12. nice post thanks for sharing i found your blog thrue other followers...looking for to visit more...blessings across the miles..

  13. Love your words of wisdom. It's human nature to get defensive when facing criticism but I, too, have found that sometimes there is a grain of truth (or much more :) ) to what is being said. Love this quote: "People do not like to think. If one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant."
    Helen Keller