“How Do You Take Criticism of Your Views?”

The biggest danger of receiving criticism is not to your reputation, but to your heart. You feel the injustice of it and feel sorry for yourself, and it tempts you to despise not only the critic, but the entire group of people from which they come.
via Redeemer City to City.

For the longest while, I’ve been struggling with whether and how to relay a friend a penetrating criticism I received first-hand about her. Usually, I wouldn’t bother, as it’ll just be stirring the pot, but the criticism was of the sort concerning her representation of her faith. Or rather, certain bits of behaviour that appeared to the accuser to belie her claim to be of that faith.

Hearing that said about her shocked me painfully. If she could be accused of such a thing (and I could see the accuser’s “kernel of truth” — see the linked article above), then the rest of us are in dire straits indeed.

But then I remembered how we are mortal and frail and muddled to the core, and that the way our centre holds is through the convicting, healing, empowering work of the Holy Spirit. Most of the time, we pay mind only to our own business. But every now and then, we submit to His, and the light reveals the path and the salt scours the meat.

I still haven’t decided whether and how to tell. I think it might help her prune and grow, but I’m not sure if she’s strong enough. I think I’d want to know if it such a thing were said about me, but I certainly don’t have the guts to let her know right now or maybe ever. Perhaps I won’t even have to for her to reflect upon and realise how her actions could affect another’s perception of her beliefs (good lesson for me as well!).

Anyway, the thoughts in the article gave me a good perspective on this mild misery. If anyone ever accused you of anything at all, or you’ve ever felt slighted or been scornful of anyone, you might find a bit of perspective good for health.

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2 thoughts on ““How Do You Take Criticism of Your Views?”

  1. what is you were to gently probe her in the right direction? If it is an action/behavioral thinggy, then perhaps whenever the behaviour exhibits itself in ur presence, u gently point her the right way? Lead by example helps too!

    At least that’s what i think. I will wish people tell me my mistakes.

  2. good idea about the probing — will do that as often as i can, and stay alert to trouble.

    the older i get, the more i realise that our inner life is not always so clear to others. just because we think something is wrong/right, doesn’t mean other people know we think so, when we keep quiet in the face of something wrong/right.

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