Right and Wrong WordsIs your tongue quick to criticize but slow to apologize?
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The other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn (v.4).
One Sunday morning a pastor got up in the pulpit and apologized for the Band-Aid on his face. He said, “I was thinking about my sermon while shaving, and I cut my face.” Afterward he found a note in a collection plate, “Next time, think about your face and cut the sermon.” That critique of the pastor’s sermon may have been more painful than the cut on his face.
Nobody likes to be criticized, but it’s inevitable that we’ll receive some disapproval in this life. Here’s what the Bible says about how to deal with criticism:
First, realize some criticism can be disregarded because a person’s faithfulness will prove the harsh evaluation to be unfounded, and because only God can judge a person’s heart (1 Corinthians 4:2). Therefore, we don’t have to get upset or become defensive over what others say about us.
Second, deal with criticism by settling disputes. This normally means that the offending ones will soften their posture (Proverbs 15:1) and seek forgiveness (Matthew 18:15). This tends to diffuse the tension of the criticism. Next, understand that integrity is the best defense against any criticism (Daniel 6:4). Integrity doesn’t mean perfection, but it does mean wholeness and consistency of character.
Third, accept some criticism as constructive. Some criticism is designed to wound in order to change us for the better, help us face reality, and lead us to life (Psalms 141:5; Proverbs 10:17). It can be just what we need to grow in spiritual maturity.
As followers of Jesus, we’re called to a life of humility, peace, and self-control. Our response to criticism and feedback reveals how much we’ve grown in Jesus’ wisdom. Let’s give the Holy Spirit maximum space so He can help us respond to criticism in a God-honoring way.
Read Titus 2:7 and discover some other defenses against criticism.
How do you typically respond when people criticize or give you negative feedback? What can you do to respond in a way that brings honor to God and reveals your humility?
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