We all deal with criticism sooner or later. No one can escape it.
Sometimes, it’s what we say or don’t say.
Sometimes, it’s what we do or don’t do.
Live long enough and you’ll be criticized for your looks, your dress, your habits, what you do, where you go and who you hang out with. In business and in the ministry, critics abound. Sometimes they sprout like mushrooms after a spring rain.
Or maybe they’re more like snails and worms.
The point is, they’re everywhere.
Here are seven positive ways to respond to criticism.
1. Listen to it.
Proverbs 15:32). So take the time to listen to what your critics have to say.
Will you like it? No.
Will it hurt? Probably.
Will you get mad? Maybe.
Take a deep breath and make up your mind to listen anyway. You have to listen, or the rest of this list doesn’t matter.
A person who will not listen can’t be helped.
2. Don’t overreact to it.
How many times have we spoken too soon? Sometimes a phone call or an email or a comment strikes us at the wrong moment.
If we strike back in anger, we will soon regret it.
Bite your tongue.
Bite it again.
Don’t hit the Send button on that fiery email. Let it sit and simmer and soak for a few hours. Then hit the Delete button and start all over.
Remember what Solomon said: “A soft answer turns away wrath, but harsh words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1).