Organizing the Inside 365 Days

Empowering Christian Women To Get Organized and Discover God's Plan for Their Lives

Archive for June 26, 2012

Organizing the Inside – Day 297 Shouldn’t We Just Ignore the Critics?

Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth? Galatians 4:16 (NLT)

I’ve always been a firm believer of not listening to the critics. Then something I read gave me great pause and caused me to realize that all criticism is not bad (I just never liked it). If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored. Proverbs 13:18 (NLT)

We call it constructive criticism and every once in a while a good step-on-my-toes-you-need-to-change piece of advice is just what I need to get my act together. The flesh doesn’t like it, not one bit. Accepting criticism is not always easy especially when it exposes something you’d just assume not to deal with. So how can you tell when criticism is constructive and not destructive?  It will take a bit of discernment, but by applying these questions you should be able to tell if the criticism you received is helpful. The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out. Proverbs 18:15 (NLT)

Discerning which criticism is worth listening to:

  1. If you heed to this advice it will change your life in a positive way.
  2. (My personal favorite) God has already told you and you kind of put off fixing the problem.
  3. If you heed to this advice it will help you maximize your potential by challenging you to dig deeper and stretch yourself.
  4. At first you may feel offended, but when you take time to honestly weigh the advice you realize heeding will likely make things better.
  5. Regardless of how you feel about the source, you know this is something that will help bring better balance in your life.
  6. By heeding to the advice, those around you will be blessed and this change is definitely a means of increasing the use of your gifts or talents.
  7. This advice fits appropriately into the vision that God has put on your heart.

Accept the truth gracefully.
Sometimes criticism is a type of forewarning that something in your life needs to change. The Holy Spirit will show you more clearly which type of criticism someone is giving. Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool. Ecclesiastes 7:5 (NLT) Having tough skin is an essential element if you ever intend to grow. The criticism needed to help you become who God has called you to be won’t always be easy to accept. There are certain vitamins that I take daily to supplement the nutrition I receive from my diet. Some of them are huge (the fish oil) and really hard to swallow. Nevertheless, since I want to reap the benefit of those costly clear pills, I grab some water, say a prayer and fight back the fear of it getting stuck in my throat and swallow.

Weigh the matter.
The next time you receive constructive criticism; don’t be afraid to let your guard down long enough to consider the information.  Should you conclude the criticism is negative or an attack on your character or positive outlook, simply drop it and move on.  Criticism that is invalid and undeserving should be considered like a curse upon the innocent. Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse will not land on its intended victim. Proverbs 26:2 (NLT) Don’t miss the opportunity to move closer to being the person God wants you to be, because advice came from an unlikely source. If God can use a donkey, He can certainly use Aunt Susie to get His point across. Weigh the matter, if it’s for you to receive then God will give you peace. Seize every opportunity to grow in your vision and the work you do for the kingdom of God. The change you need most may come by way of constructive criticism. If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. Proverbs 15:31 (NLT)