Handling Criticism Constructively (2)

“If you listen to correction, you grow in understanding” Pr 15:32

Saying the right thing the wrong way usually backfires, so here is a word to the wise. If you cannot receive constructive criticism, don’t try to give it out. Before you criticize, ask yourself 4 questions. 

Am I interested in this persons well being? Or do you just need to look good, to have all the answers, to control people, and to gain acceptance and prestige? You can’t help others while you’re focused on your own ego or needs. 

Am I blame oriented and judgmental? If so, you’ll come across that way to others. “Let us stop passing judgment on one another.” (Ro 14:13) To avoid blaming and judging you have to stop talking about why they did it, or who is to blame, or how stupid and selfish and crazy it was, or what’s wrong with them, etc. That’s problem focused and polarizing, and doesn’t help. 

Am I pointing the person towards solutions? God is a God of solutions. When He found us lost in sin He didn’t give a critical reminder of our weakness. Instead, “When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Ro 5:6) He didn’t give us an analysis of our problems, but a remedy. So prayerfully suggest, “I wonder if you might not get a more satisfying result by…” then let God drive it home! 

Am I speaking truth in love? Even your sincerest ideas need to reflect that you care. “Speaking the truth in love”  (Eph 4:15) opens their hearts and prepares them to trust you. Love says, because I value you, I’d like to offer a suggestion. Would that be all right? 

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