Mark Altrogge serves us well with these 15 things to remember when we are criticized:
View correction as a good thing: Ps 141:5 says: “Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.” That’s how we should view the correction of a believer – as a blessing.
Remember the danger of being wise in your own eyes. As Pr 26:12 says, “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.”
Consider that it may be really hard for this person to bring a negative comment to you – try to make it easy for them. Consider that if they didn’t love you they might not say anything.
Determine that you really want to hear and understand their concern, even if it hurts, or even if in the end you don’t agree.
Remind yourself that God gives grace to the humble, but resists the proud. You don’t want God resisting you.
Remember we all have blind spots. We all have logs in our eyes at times. We can’t know ourselves perfectly and can’t see ourselves as others see us. Maybe this is something we’re blind to.
Don’t be quick to defend yourself. God is perfectly able to defend you.
Don’t be formulating your rebuff while the other person is still speaking.
Ask questions. Draw them out. Seek clarification. Depending on the situation, take notes.
Don’t write off their concern because they don’t deliver it perfectly. Even if they share in anger, the content could still be accurate.
Even if most of what they share is inaccurate, there’s usually at least a grain of truth worth looking for in any criticism.
Believe God can and will speak to you through others to sanctify you.
If you don’t see it, tell them you really want to and that you will definitely consider it and pray about it.
Thank them for bringing this to you.
Ask them to point it out again any time they see you do it in the future.
May we always be teachable and humble as we remember and confess that we are worse than our worst critics could ever imagine. As Spurgeon puts it…
Brother, if any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him; for you are worse than he thinks you to be. If he charges you falsely on some point, be satisfied, because if he knew you better he might change the accusation, and you would be no better off by the correction. If you have your moral picture painted, and it is ugly, be satisfied; for it only needs a few blacker touches, and it would be still nearer the truth.
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