Criticism

DGoose Familyisapproval expressed by pointing out faults or shortcomings

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall. Confucius

The only time you can’t afford to fail is the last time you try. Charles Kettering

Some men dream of worthy accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them.

Criticism needs to be considered from two perspectives: The person who is doing the criticism and the person who is receiving the criticism. This can be and should be a good thing. Most of the time criticism is not a good thing. It takes a strong, well developed and mature person to properly criticize others (constructive criticism). It takes a strong and mature person to be able to receive the criticism of others without being offended themselves.

Criticism intended to hurt another is always bad and is a very undesirable character trait. Not being able to take or receive criticism is also an undesirable character trait. Many people can easily criticize but are unable to be criticized. Some can take criticism and are unable to criticize. Both traits have their value and are desirable and should be sought after. To be able to effectively offer constructive criticism to others is a very good skill to have. It is not easily done and should never be used to hurt or belittle. It should always be used to help another person grow and develop. One must be careful in offering it to those who are not mature enough to receive it.

To be able to receive criticism is a good trait to possess. Good constructive criticism is something we should relish. Receiving good input and comments from others allows us to digest such information with the intent that we will use it to become better at what we are doing.  It is a source of feedback. If the criticism is useless and destructive, the proper action is to filter it out and not allow it to hurt us. A good rule of thumb is to always consider the source as well as the intent of any criticism we may receive. Throw out that which is undesirable.

We can never control the words and actions of others and are not responsible for them. However, we are responsible for ourselves and should always be in control (or should be) for how we respond to the actions and words of others. Being desirous of receiving “constructive criticism” as a source of continuous feedback is an indication of maturity and growth. It says that we are seeking to become better and value worthwhile feedback. Receiving ongoing input from others give us an additional source other than ourselves as to how we are doing.

Challenge: Today would be a good day to score yourself on your ability and willingness to genuinely receive constructive criticism from others and on your ability to properly provide good constructive criticism to others. There is growth potential for you on both ends of this. It is something very good to be able to both give and to receive if it is properly done. It is worthy of your efforts to work on this and get better at both aspects.

Wisdom:  Don’t criticize what you don’t understand, son. You never walked in that man’s shoes. Elvis Presley

Spiritual: (NIV)

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, then new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Romans 12:9, 10

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness, knowledge. 2 Peter 1:5

The absence of brotherly love in our hearts brings into question our true motives for anything we might do or say to others. When we find ourselves being critical of others, chances are we are impure in our reasons for offering criticism to begin with. It is so easy for us to hurt others when we criticize. It is a basic human trait to judge others and to do it without a loving attitude. Only God is in a position to judge others in a proper loving manner.

Prayer: Help me to be mature enough to lovingly advise others as well as being able to receive advice without offense.

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