Yesterday we discussed the correct way for Responding to Accusation from others: praying first is the best response in a crisis. When we do, God supernaturally provides that which we can’t muster up ourselves. Namely, spiritual discernment, a quiet spirit and God’s wisdom. Today, we will discuss how to have a godly response to criticism.
No one likes criticism, but encountering some is inevitable, so we need to learn how to respond in a godly way. Although you might be tempted to become defensive or angry, remain calm and listen. If we respond this way, we may become offended and risk our love growing cold (see Offense: Don’t Let Your Love Grow Cold Part 2).
The words may hurt, but great benefits come to those who carefully consider what is said. “He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility.” (Prov. 15:31-33)
If we refuse to accept reproof, we’ll limit our potential for Christlike character development and spiritual growth. Some of life’s best lessons come through difficult experiences. If God allowed the situation, you can be sure that He wants to use it in transforming you into His Son’s image. Whether the criticism is valid or not, whether it’s delivered with kindness or harshness, your goal should always be to respond in a way that glorifies the Lord. Remember that you are responsible only for how you handle yourself, not for how the other person is acting.
When a criticism comes your way, be quiet and listen until the other person has finished. Make direct eye contact to show attentiveness and respect. When your critic finishes, thank him for bringing his concerns to your attention, and tell him that you will consider what he’s said. Ask the Lord if the accusation is valid. Let Him search your heart and either affirm your innocence or convict you.
Every rebuke is an opportunity from God. It’s a chance to let your Christian character shine by showing love to your critic. If he is angrily attacking you, your respect and kindness become a powerful testimony. Criticism is also an occasion to humble yourself and accept the Lord’s correction.
Source: A Godly Response to Criticism