When You Are Criticized
Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 Peter 2:2
When it comes to constructive criticism, try to learn from it and grow wiser. When it comes to unjustified criticism, remind yourself that Jesus was criticized too, so you’re in good company. And when you’re tempted to give in to resentment and strike back, read these Scriptures: ‘If you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly’ (vv. 20-23). There’s an interesting story about Abraham Lincoln. During the American Civil War he signed an order transferring certain regiments, but Secretary of War Edwin Stanton refused to execute it, calling the president a fool. When Lincoln heard he replied, ‘If Stanton said I’m a fool then I must be, for he’s nearly always right, and he says what he thinks. I’ll step over and see for myself.’ He did, and when Stanton convinced him the order was in error, Lincoln quietly withdrew it. Part of Lincoln’s greatness lay in his ability to rise above pettiness, ego, and sensitivity to other people’s opinions. He wasn’t easily offended. He welcomed criticism, and in doing so demonstrated one of the strengths of a truly great person: humility. So, have you been criticized? Make it a time to learn, not lose.
Heavenly Father, help me see that constructive criticism is a good thing if I am humble and accept it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen