Monday, January 26, 2009

Responding to Criticism

We have all received criticism. If it's not delivered appropriately, it can quite hurtful. Someone might have good intentions and honestly desire your good, but if their words are not well chosen, you may walk away hurt and have trouble processing the criticism.

I recently had a conversation with some friends about some criticism that I had received. I was hurt but I also really wanted to learn. How could I process this experience even in the midst of my hurt? I saw these questions somewhere and found helpful in my own journey of processing criticism.

What is the truth? Sometimes it's possible to see the truth right on the surface. Other times you might have dig a bit deeper to discover whether there is any truth to the comments. Seek the Lord and ask Him to reveal truth to you.

Is it just a matter of opinion? The fact is that people will differ in certain areas and that's okay. But if it's just a matter of opinion, don't take it personally.

Is this a sin issue? This one might take guidance and counsel from others to help you identify areas of sin. Ask the Lord to reveal any sin in your life. Psalm 139:23-24, "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Life is short and we can't waste time fretting over criticism. These questions and others can help us process our hurts and move on. I'm working through these questions and journaling my answers. It's a joy to see how the Lord is working in me.

Philippians 2:14-15, "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."

Colossians 4:6, "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."

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