It is not a wonderful experience when I experienced criticism. Most of the time it threw me for a loop.
It is human to respond to people the way they do to you, when they insult, you insult. One of Christ’s clearest challenges to us is to not respond this way, but to respond “in the Spirit.” To be Spirit-controlled rather than situation-controlled is not natural to human nature. Being Spirit-controlled becomes natural to the new nature that a believer receives at salvation – the very nature and mind of Christ. Undoubtedly, to counter evil for evil is natural, but to counter evil with good is the supernatural work of Christ within you. Romans 12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
When people criticise you:
- Discern – Be discerning regarding the accuracy of the critical words of others. Discern between the critical words as true or lies. Discern the false from the true. Reject the lies. Allow your heart to accept constructive criticism. Ask God to bring freedom to your life and change you. “The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.” (Proverbs 16:21)
- Be open to the slightest kernel of truth when you are criticized. Ask the Lord to convict you if there is truth in what the people say in order for you to be convicted and confess what is wrong and change your ways. “A rebuke impresses a man of discernment more than a hundred lashes a fool.” (Proverbs 17:10)
- Be open to consider the criticism. If it is true, this person might be God’s megaphone to get your attention. “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15).
- Be able to receive criticism without being defensive. Admit to any truth in the criticism. Agree when you are in error. Ask for further correction. Pray to the Lord and ask Him to continue to use others to put you on a correction course when you are off track in your attitudes or actions. Also ask Go to continue to transform you more and more into the character of Christ. “A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise.” (Proverbs 15:12).
- Speak well of your critic. Focus on the good in others and not on the bad. Pray to God to place a guard over your mouth so that you will only speak the truth in love and well of others. I pledge to “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.” (Romans 12:14).
- Look for the Lord’s perspective to determine your worth and value, not on the opinions of others. Don’t live for the approval of people because you have God’s approval, and that is all you need. Thank the Lord for loving you, establishing your worth and value by dying for you and adopting you into God’s family. “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10)