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Criticism continued (5)

Taking Criticism

Six Biblical Principles For Accepting Criticism: (Based on Moses’ life.)


1. Turn immediately to God in prayer (Exodus 15:23-25 at Marah; Exodus 16:2; Numbers 12 & 13), praying for God to forgive and bless those who criticize you and to give you the ability to respond to them in a positive manner (James 1:19).


2.  Listen to the person making the criticism (Exodus 18) – this implies that you are an active participant in the communication and conveys an attitude that you want to hear what is being said so you can better understand the nature of the criticizer’s issues (Prov. 15:1). Remember, while listening, to maintain eye contact with the speaker, lean forward in the chair to convey interest and attention, nod your head and frown or smile to convey an appropriate and effective response.


3.  Be a learner (Romans 8:28) - this involves:

     o Receptive function, which involves the abilities to acquire, process, classify and integrate information;  

     o Memory, by means of which information is stored and recalled;

     o Cognition, or thinking, which concerns the mental organization and reorganization of information; and

     o Expressive functioning, through which information is communicated or acted upon.


4.  Respond positively, i.e.:

     o A soft answer (Proverbs 15:1);

     o Tone of voice (Proverbs 16:21);

     o Be meek (patient and mild, not inclined to anger and resentment, Numbers 13 . . . Moses was meek) (Proverbs 17:27);

     o Be sure you understand what is being said. Ask that the message be repeated a second time; when this is done it is usually with more clarity a    

        and calmness (Matthew 5:25);

     o Agree with your adversary quickly or with as much of the criticism as you possibly can;

     o Acknowledge your wrongs and faults and move quickly to correct them. If we fail to do this, we ultimately end up harboring guilt;

     o Ask for the critic’s help in solving the problem, i.e., what do you think I could do to change this; from your perspective what would you like to

        see me doing differently, etc? This helps make you teammates rather than adversaries; and

     o If after prayer and reflection, you can’t honestly agree with the criticism, go back to the critic and tell them this in a loving, sincere way and let

        them know you respect their right to feel this way and you don’t want this difference to interfere with your friendship or working relationship.

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