My friend, may I ask you a question? Is it would be better to be meek and withdrawing when others criticize us no matter the situation? In fact, if you are one of those people who are not “quick on the trigger” when others start shooting criticism your way, are you blessed?
My friend, Life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I'm Mark Brunner.
I wish I had thought of that? How often have you found yourself thinking that you had wished you had been quicker with a response, wittier or simply more creative? I am sure that most of us have found ourselves in that position more than once in life. There’s something about staring down the barrel of criticism, however, that not only puts us on the defensive but also tends to throw our minds and bodies into a state of temporary shock.
When criticism, especially the pointed kind, is shoved our way, it is difficult to be witty or smug. We sink into ourselves as a deep, burning feeling of guilt or shame slowly creeps throughout our bodies. It’s a feeling of total worthlessness and helplessness. We are vulnerable and, for the moment, wounded. It is only later, when we have time to think about it, we become angry and go on the offensive. “Why didn’t I stick up for myself?” or “Boy, if I only could do that over would I have said something different!” We plug ourselves back into the situation and mentally go on the attack, finding great satisfaction in landing that jab or shielding that blow. No one likes being put down and there’s only one way of pulling ourselves up from the mat. Reacting to the criticism, if only in ourselves and by ourselves, helps us to recover our dignity. We vow, if ever we find ourselves in that situation again we will handle it with more courage and, without a doubt, more wit and intelligence. Being a “dummy” once is not fun. Being a “dummy” twice is not a viable option.
Yet, the Bible tells us that “rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” Love? What happened to getting the emotional revenge that is so satisfying? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of room in that statement for pride, is there? In fact, being made to look the dummy seems like an invitation to wisdom. That’s something that doesn’t square real well with the world or our own self-esteem. It almost sounds like it would be better to be meek and withdrawing when others criticize us. In fact, if you are one of those people who are not “quick on the trigger” when others start shooting criticism your way, are you blessed? Perhaps. While it is never good to respond to anyone when we don’t have full command of our senses, it doesn’t mean that we should empty ourselves out completely and allow that criticism to fill us up to overflowing. There is a process of assimilation that can help.
Several years ago I read a helpful article on the subject of receiving and benefitting from criticism. If you can keep this process in mind even when bitter criticism is being leveled at you, you may find it easier to bear up and certainly less recriminating when you consider the criticism down the road. It stated that when we are criticized we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should learn from it, even when it is not given with the right motivation and in the right spirit. The article then offered these four suggestions: (1) Commit the matter instantly to God, asking Him to remove all resentment or counter-criticism on your part and teach you the needed lessons. (2) Remember that we are all great sinners and that the one who has criticized us does not begin to know the worst about us. (3) If you have made a mistake or committed a sin, humbly and frankly confess it to God and to anyone you may have injured. (4) Be willing to learn afresh that you are not infallible and that you need God’s grace and wisdom every moment of the day to keep on the straight path.
We pray. Heavenly Father, it is hard to accept criticism, especially when it seems harsh and unfair. Help us to put all criticism into perspective and keep us from reacting in anger. May we commit all criticism to You, O Lord, that we may benefit from it and reap the wisdom that You have promised those who accept criticism in grace. 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.
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<firstname.lastname@example.org> From Beech Springs, God bless you for Jesus sake.