Criticism?


My friend, may I ask you a question? For many of us criticism is one of the hardest things in this life to bear. Like most people we try to avoid it. Reacting to just criticism isn’t fun; but reacting to unjust criticism is even less of a picnic. Since it is so difficult sometimes to differentiate between the two, perhaps avoiding any criticism at all costs is the better path?

My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.

“Constructive criticism is when I criticize you. Destructive criticism is when you criticize me.” If we could make this clear and plain to everyone we met, all our lives would be so much easier. If people just realized that criticism is applicable to everyone but the person delivering it, it would be a lot easier getting along with folks. Unfortunately, no one seems to grasp this basic concept of human co-existence. As silly as it sounds, rare is the individual that does not at least think this from time to time. For many of us criticism is one of the hardest things in this life to bear. Like most people I try to avoid criticism and not seek it. Reacting to just criticism isn’t fun; but reacting to unjust criticism is even less of a picnic. Since it is so difficult sometimes to differentiate between the two, perhaps avoiding any criticism at all costs is the better path?

Unfortunately, life presents us with both types of criticism on a pretty frequent basis. Dealing with the just requires patience and forbearance. Dealing with the unjust requires a deep kind of loving patience and forbearance. Criticism well directed and delivered with care may still cause bruised feelings. But criticism that is unloaded upon us, inflicted and perpetrated on us breaks the skin of our lives and opens gaping wounds. That’s because this latter kind of criticism aims for our weak spots, places where we are much more vulnerable. Turkeys in many ways are much like humans. They prefer to flock together and cooperate as a team. That is until one of them is wounded. Then, if a small drop of blood becomes apparent on one bird, the other birds team up and begin to peck at the spot until they open up a small wound. But they don’t stop there. Each bird relentlessly takes its turn pecking at that same spot until what had been a small wound becomes a gaping wound. Eventually the wounded bird is literally pecked to death.

David Roper writes, “A man once unloaded on me that I was a ‘wicked shepherd who was destroying and scattering the sheep.’ Those were his exact words. I asked him if he knew that he was quoting Scripture. He said he did. I asked him if he knew by whom it was said and about whom. He didn’t. At that point I told him it was the prophet Jeremiah who first said it and that it was said about each of Judah’s last four kings, four of the worst men who ever lived. I thought that would change his mind about me. It didn’t. The best of Christianity is sometimes swallowed up by the worst, and often I think the worst is mean-spirited attacks upon our brothers. It must make outsiders think that becoming a Christian turns someone into a swine. Something need to be said to our critics. Our Lord was very clear about what to do if you have something against another person. He said, ‘go and show him (you brother) his fault,’ and settle the matter ‘just between the two of you.’ The best way to handle a complaint against another is frontally. Though it may hurt initially, your loving concern can restore your relationship. Critics need to lighten up, and the criticized need to toughen up. We mustn’t let our detractors drive us to depression and despair. Every critique provides an opportunity to grow. Forget the critic; it’s far more important to consider the criticism, especially if it comes from more than one source.” (David Roper, The Strength of a Man)

Heavenly Father, You have created us to have feelings and to feel pain. When criticism comes, especially that which is unfair, teach us to avoid reacting negatively to it. Help us to maintain our love and keep the situation under control. Forgiven us when we strike back in anger. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to ”This Passing Day!”

<markcbrunner@thispassingday.com> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.

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