How to handle Criticisms with Care

When you purchase a gadget or related fragile equipment, you will definitely read an attached notice telling you take absolute caution. Similarly, many things around us require that we include caution, one of which is the subject of Criticism.

Criticism can be defined to be many things. For one, it is the expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes. Criticism could also mean the practice of judging the merits and faults of something. In whichever case, it is simply the opinion of one person over the other. Overtime, it creates the better person in a man if he follows certain instructions, especially because Hebrews 12:14 says to follow peace with all men. That is where the need to handle with care comes in.
How then should a believer handle criticisms with care?
In Proverbs 15:31-33, we learn that listening to constructive criticism is profitable and that if you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
First, look beyond the criticism and see the critic. Criticism can come from two kinds of people - someone who genuinely wants your growth and progress and in other cases, someone who is upset about your goodwill and positivity. Now, if it's someone you respect, listen to what they say and do not try to disrespect them at the time (even if they fall in the category of people upset with you). If it's someone who is constantly critical, you do not need to react in any way - simply don't place too much value on what they say as they are most likely projecting their frustrations on you. Basically, question yourself if your critic sincerely wants to help you or not and you can continue the sieving process from there.
Also, try not to take yourself too seriously. The bitter truth is that we do things that we later regret. However, the ability to laugh at yourself and learn from those things signify your growth into maturity. In many cases, it is better to know and acknowledge your errors before your negative critics come around. When you do, anything they would say will be mere words instead of attacks on your personality. On the other hand, a positive criticism will definitely give you a shoulder to lean on to learning your corrections and reposition for growth.
It is also necessary to know the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. Learn to interpret it by asking:
  • In what spirit was it given? If the critic's attitude is kind, the criticism is constructive.
  • When is the criticism given? If someone criticises you publicly, usually, their intentions are not the best.
  • Why is the criticism given? For personal hurt or one's benefit?

Finally, to best handle criticism, you must demonstrate emotional maturity and realise that both good and bad people get criticised. This will help you to keep a good attitude, concentrate on your mission and change your mistakes. If you do not manage undue criticism properly, you will discover that you are concentrating on your mistakes and as a result, change your mission. You also need to spend time with the right people because you need more encouragement than tearing down as 1 Thessalonians 5:11
aptly describes. This will definitely help you to sieve out bad energy and grow with constructive criticism.

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