Criticism comes in the normal course of life. Criticism comes in seeking to serve the Lord. There should be no surprise that if the master suffered criticism then won’t that be true of his servants as well? So we read in Matthew 10:24-25:
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.
But what do we do when criticism comes? Are we “pig-heads” or “snowflakes”?
Pig-Heads say “Stuff you with whatever you say, I am going to do it this way and if you don’t like it you will have to lump it.”
Snowflakes says “If you have said it, it must be right. I must do what you say straight-away. I will do whatever you say, yes sir, no sir; three bags full sir.”
So where do each of us sit with these responses. I suggest we are all somewhere on a spectrum here between pig-heads and snowflakes.
But how should we respond to criticism. I have written about how we should respond to a rebuke here. I post some further thoughts;
- Always listen to what the person has to say. Seek calcification if necessary, but don’t pursue every detail ad nauseam.
- Listen courteously and thank them for their observations which have very likely not been easy to deliver.
- Consider what has been said and pray over it.
- Seek advice and other counsel from those you trust.
- Consider who has made the criticism and of what character, wisdom and maturity they are.
- Respond and adopt the observations which you think are legitimate.
- Reject those which you believe do not hold up.
Then move on with your life. We need to embrace something of Paul’s attitude: But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead I press on towards the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.(Phil 3:13b-14). Continually revisiting what has been said can keep you from the task in hand which is to serve God and be for Him.