Responding to Criticism

Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray. -Proverbs 10:17 NIV

What do you do when someone points out where you are wrong? Do you argue? Defend yourself? Shift blame? Have you ever considered that those natural responses could interfere with your ability to share the Gospel effectively and lead others to Jesus?
Read today’s verse again slowly.  It says your ability to take correction well opens the way to Jesus and conversely, when you are resistant to it, you may inadvertently block the path to life! That makes it very important to carefully chose your words, especially when the temptation to respond out of raw emotion is at its peak. Consider carefully what a harsh response might communicate. Could it be that it unintentionally tells people around you that your faith makes no difference at all?

Paul warned believers to set aside a ‘me-centered’ mindset and intentionally think about others first. Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

When you choose deliberately to respond to even undue criticism with a spirit of humility and gentleness, it speaks volumes to unbelievers about the validity of your God.

Prayer Focus

  • Ask God to make you conscious of unbelievers and those with weak faith who are around you.
  • Ask the Lord to help you think before you speak and to look for opportunities to be a strong witness for Him.
Karen Woodall
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