How To Handle Criticism
How do you handle being criticized? Is it any easier to handle it when you know that you are doing God’s will? What about when the attack comes from within the church body? How do you handle it then?
Personally, I have a hard time not reacting to criticism whether it is actually due or not. Well, let me say this. I accept it better and with a little more grace when it comes in love, from someone that I know only wants to help me improve. Criticism from strangers or those who-knows-where they came from haters… I have a struggle with not reacting, at least on the inside.
2 Corinthians 11:18
Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
Of course we all know that successful people face criticism, either because of opposition to the principles they stand for or because of the personal jealousy of the attacker. I believe that these are the two main reasons for criticism.
Think about Paul for a minute. He was openly opposed by Jewish and pagan leaders as well as by others that worked hard to undermine his work and besmirch character. And they wanted to lead the church a stray by pretending to be apostles. Talk about creating chaos in the church.
Paul was placed in the position of having to defend himself against the personal attacks and the misunderstandings which they had created. Corinth is the perfect example. They were a wealthy church made up of untaught people that were easily led astray. Paul was clear when he set the record straight by reminding them: “For the Lord’s sake I’ve been beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and robbed. Then add to that my weariness, pain, and for all the churches!” (11:25-28)
Expect criticism. Know that it is coming if you are taking a stand for Christ. When it does, the best advice I can offer is to remain as calm as possible while stating your position. Then move on and get back to the work of the Kingdom. Don’t let the naysayers sidetrack or slow you down. Show the love of Christ but don’t stop the work (which is their ultimate goal). Most are not ready to be persuaded or won over, they are looking for a fight..or at least a way to slow your progress down.