How do you take criticism from others? Are you humble to accept others input or do become instantly defensive? One thing is for sure, we all get criticized, and we all are guilty of criticizing others. It is not easy being put on the spot by others. Depending on the circumstances, criticism may end up turning into judgment. No one likes to be judged by others.
I saw a Facebook live video today from a friend of mine. In his video, he talked about criticizing others and being criticized. His thoughts were not judgmental, but more matter of fact. The question that he posed is how do we react to others that criticize us? I guess I never thought about how I handle criticism before. When criticism comes my way, I handle it many different ways. Most of the criticism I receive comes from friends and family, so it is pretty easy to take. Knowing that people close to me care enough about me to let me know when I am wrong or mistaken is important. Depending on the situation, I am sure I do not take criticism from others as well.
When strangers or people whose opinions have no value to me try to criticize me, it doesn't go over well at all. Since the topic was brought up, I thought I would do some searching in the Bible to see what the scriptures said about taking criticism from others. I am sure that most of you are familiar with Matthew 7:1-5. If you are not, I have the set of verses for you below.
Matthew 7: 1-5 NASB “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
How do we take criticism from others?
The above passage talks about judging others. A criticism I believe comes in two forms. One is a loving expression from someone who cares for you. This type of criticism comes from family or friends that have your best interest in mind. The focus of the criticism is loving and not made to be judgmental. People in your life that bring things to your attention are trying to make you a better person. They are watching out for you and have your back.
The second type of criticism is judgmental. How do we take criticism from others that are being judgmental? Not very well. Judging is a form of accusing. When someone judges they are acting in place of God. Instead of worrying about their issues as in Matthew 7:1-5, they focus on your issues instead. This criticism is often met with anger, frustration a negative response. One thing that we need to keep in mind is, no matter what the criticism, we still need to handle the situation in a Christ-like manner.
As divisive as being judged is, try to be the bigger person in the situation. Understand that you are representing God and your actions should reflect this. Why is judging Biblically wrong? Because judging is God's job and we need not pretend that we know everything.