When Criticism Comes Your Way

I recently received a message from a critic. I cannot judge the intent of this individual. We all receive criticism at times. Some of us receive it more than others. I want to examine the criticism I received and make some practical application to us all as we receive criticism.

Be willing to search your own heart to see what parts of the criticism might be accurate. In this case, some of the things that were said were accurate. I was told my perspective is limited. That is totally true. I grew up attending a Christian school for my entire education. Then I went off to attend a college with the same views. After that, I went to work for churches with the same views. Sounds limited, doesn’t it? I can’t undo my past. Truthfully, none of us can. We can try to remove reminders, but it still exists. I’m so thankful God can and will use me, limitations and all!

Be willing to correct what needs to be corrected. I know that, going forward, I can listen and glean from different perspectives. That does not mean I have to agree. That willingness will often need to lead to repentance in cases when it is a matter of sin.

Eat the meat and leave the bone. Criticism can be skewed to some degree. I’m not sure if this individual was telling me to be quiet because of my limited perspective. If that is the case, none of us should speak. God is the only one with unlimited perspective, and He is the only One who is 100 percent correctp pop 100 percent of the time. I will do my best to speak when the Spirit says speak (or write) and be quiet when appropriate. God knows I have been very quiet on many things over the last few years because I didn’t need to throw another opinion out there. Plus, to be honest with you, I didn’t want the drama, and I knew the comments could get venomous.

Be sure that you will have critics if you haven’t already. Some mean well, while others don’t. Don’t be like me and internalize it. I was about ready to quit everything and wait for Jesus to come get me. I don’t say that in the strictest sense, but I had to just remember God will pull the plug on my life when He is done with me. While that criticism was being used by the devil, I had to redirect my focus to how God will use me at His discretion. My job is to be available, obedient, and content with however He chooses or does not choose to use me. At the end of the day, do your best to be who God wants you to be and let Him do the rest. We won’t hit perfection, and that’s okay. No saint of God had it all together, so I’m not the first. I’m just another story of how God makes beautiful things out of the dust, and so are you! Let Him have the final say!

8 responses to “When Criticism Comes Your Way”

  1. I think this is a beautiful way to handle the perceived negativity of another. So often in this world, words are thrown about with little consideration for the heart that will receive the message. Careless inconsideration at its finest.

    Modern Saint Matthew, part of the journey of life, as you yourself shared, is to be the best you can. When others throw their words in our direction, we can hear them and try to best understand what message was trying to be shared. But often, so many people are looking just to be heard, that they never give the quality of their message any thought.

    Take these words that have hurt you sensitivities and see what truth they hold. Find the meaning that parallels with the life you need to live to be the best you. If none of the words hold water, then throw them out and take it as a misdelivered message and get on with being the best you in light of the negativity that tried to attack you.

    But sometimes I have found that I get hurt by words because they have a touch of truth to them and that truth hurts my feelings for it is something that I have long needed to address and don’t appreciate being pointed out by another.

    It’s hard to say what has happened here, being an outsider to the situation. But please know this outsider thinks you are doing a standup job being a Modern representation of the Saints of the Bible.

    You know the words of Jesus and you hold yourself to a higher standard in response to those words. I applaud that strength. I appreciate that kindness. And I honor that resolve to be the best person you can be in any given situation. We need more men like this in the world. Thanks for being a great example of how to live with Jesus in your Heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your encouragement! There was a good bit of validity in this case, and I always want to be open to receiving words that will help even if they hurt.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well said Matthew. From my perspective, l know I need to be very careful not to internalize criticism that is directed at me for evil and try to recognize it for what it is Vs criticism that is truly for my good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know how hard it is to take criticism this way Matt. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had many conversations with the Lord about it. It took a while to get to where I needed to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It always blows my mind how God can take the most painful things and yet talk to us in such a gentle way that we can receive his correction and love all at once. He is truly worthy of all our love and praise!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with you Matthew, nobody has it all together but we do have a Shepherd who does. Isaiah 30:21 “And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” Seek His will and your path will form before you. That’s what He does. It may take a while but you’ll get there. Blessings brother.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for these good words, Bruce!

      Liked by 1 person

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