I heard this and thought of the forum. So if you'll forgive me for infringing the Secular with the Spiritual it could be quite useful.
HANDLING CRITICISM CONSTRUCTIVELY (1) 22 Apr 2012 ''...A wise person stays calm when insulted.'' Proverbs 12:16
How can you tell constructive criticism from destructive criticism? By practicing these principles from God's Word: 1) Resolve that whatever it is, you'll handle it constructively. 'A wise person stays calm when insulted.' Angry responses only short-circuit rational thinking and trigger emotion-driven reactions. 'If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding' (Proverbs 15:31-32 NLT). Always ask yourself, 'Can I learn something here? 2) Consider the character of your critic. 'An honest witness tells the truth; a false witness tells lies. Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing' (Proverbs 12:17-18 NLT). Is your critic trustworthy? Are their words meant to help you? If so, appreciate them and grow wiser. 'Better to be criticised by a wise person than to be praised by a fool' (Ecclesiastes 7:5 NLT). Are their words intended to demean you and damage your self-worth? Words that humble you have a godly purpose, but words that humiliate don't; so reject them. 3) Check your conscience. Paul wrote: 'My conscience is clear...It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide' (1Corinthians 4:4 NLT). If you're in the clear, leave the outcome with God. He alone sees the whole picture. 4) If you are criticised because of your faith, consider yourself blessed. 'If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you' (1Peter 4:14 NIV). Rejoice, your life is pleasing to God.
HANDLING CRITICISM CONSTRUCTIVELY (2) 23 Apr 2012 ''...If you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.'' Proverbs 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. Before you criticise, ask yourself: 1) 'Am I interested in this person's good?' 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 needs. 2) 'Am I blame-oriented and judgemental?' If so, you'll come across that way to others. '...Let us stop passing judgement on one another...' (Romans 14:13 NIV). 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 polarising, and doesn't help. 3)'Am I pointing the person toward solutions?' God is a God of solutions. When He found us lost in sin He didn't give us a critical reminder of our weakness. Instead, '...When we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly' (Romans 5:6 NIV). He didn't give us an analysis of our problem, but a remedy. So, prayerfully suggest, 'I wonder if you might not get a more satisfying result by...' then let God drive it home! 4) 'Am I speaking truth in love?' Even your sincerest ideas need to reflect that you care. 'Speaking the truth in love...' (Ephesians 4:15 NKJV) opens their heart and prepares them to trust you. Love says, 'Because I value you, I'd like to offer a suggestion. Would that be all right?'
The Word For Today is written by Bob and Debby Gass, with Ruth Gass Halliday. © UCB 2012