Handling Criticism

by Greg Baker © 2010

I pastor a church. I have my own opinions about God, religion, society, heaven, hell, salvation, government, and right and wrong. My views are strictly biblical, but that won't stop other Christians and Bible believers from criticizing my stand and beliefs let alone the non-believers.

If you take a stand on anything, you will be criticized for it. But there are a variety of things you need to be aware of in regards to criticism. Understanding the nature of criticism will help you handle it without being overly defensive.

YOU CAN NOT ARGUE WITH A CRITIC SO DON'T TRY

Critics are often very insecure about something in their life. Who knows what it may be, but secure people aren't bothered by other people's opinion. They don't feel the need to attack someone else. I'm a Christian, and I'm not bothered when someone else has a different opinion on God. I'm very, very secure in my beliefs. I've noticed, however, that critical people are often not secure in some of theirs.

They attack other positions because that is easier to do than take a long hard look at their own. Critics will often cut others down to make themselves taller.

You can't argue with a critic and win. It doesn't matter if you have a stronger argument, position, or logic. Arguing with a critic is always a losing battle. It'll only frustrate you.

Recently, I had someone challenge me on something I wrote. That's fine. I sent a clarification back and received a very long argument in reply. After reading the first line and realizing what was happening, I deleted the letter. I knew that reading it would only frustrate me more, and it was clear that I wasn't going to change his mind either. To save myself frustration, I simply deleted it.

The trash can is your best friend when it comes to criticism. Hit that delete key. Don't bother with a response.

LEARN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CRITICISM AND CONCERN

Concern is from someone who cares and has the power, position, and authority to make a difference. When a parent tells a child to do something different, that is concern and love. When a boss corrects the way you do something that is his right. He is concerned for his business.

Criticism is from someone who has neither the power to change anything, the authority to try, nor the position to say anything. And yet they still do. A critic is more interested in tearing down what others build than in building something of their own.

I'm way to busy building a Church for God to worry about what other Churches are doing. I'm not responsible for other pastors, other ministries, and other churches. So I don't bother looking into it. I focus on what God has given me and what I know I ought to be doing. So should you.

Isn't it amazing how critical the crowd is of a referee? The crowd can't do a single thing to fix, to correct, or to change the call that a referee makes. Referees are rarely critical of other referees because they understand the position and the difficulties that come with it. Do you ever see a referee booing a ticket holder? Someone who is doing something doesn't have time for someone who is merely watching and criticizing.

It amazes me how critical we are of the President. No matter if he is a democrat or a republican, we all know better, don't we? Do I agree with him all the time? Of course not! But I am not in a position to be constructively critical. I'll express my opinion in the voting box.

A critic is often envious of others. Many times that envy reveals itself in the form of criticism.

FOCUS ON WHERE YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE

The critic will consume your heart and mind if you let him. Criticism has the potential to hurt and hurt deeply. Remember, the critic isn't really trying to help. He is trying to tear down what others build instead of building something themselves.

This is what irks me about politics, to be critical myself here. They are very good at pointing out where the ideas and policies of their opponents are doomed to fail, but they offer no solution of their own.

Don't joust with a critic. Just focus on where you can make things better. Realize that not everyone will agree with you. In fact, in my case, I would be extremely puzzled if everyone agreed with me all the time. I'd think someone had thrust me into some sort of bizarre virtual reality.

There are people who are counting on me to help build their lives for the better. So why in the name of all things good would I give my attention to a critic whose only thoughts are to tear down and destroy?

I disagree with a lot of preachers and ministries. But for the most part, we are too busy loving and helping people to have time attacking each other. That's good. That's the way it should be.

Have you been criticized? Trash it in the mental trashcan of your mind and go on and build something.

More at: http://articles.christianbaptists.com Or http://www.fitlyspoken.org for books on communication and social skills in relationships! Specifically, our books 'Fitly Spoken' and 'Restoring a Fallen Christian'. For editing and ghostwriting services: http://www.affordablechristianediting.com

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