Have you been severely criticized that it diminished your self-esteem and performance?
There are constructive criticisms designed to analyze literary or artistic works. But there are also criticisms considered as expressions of hostility, indifference, and apathy.
The fact about criticism is that, it respects no one. The more visible or popular you are, the more you’ll receive unsolicited criticisms. Every leader knows what I’m talking about.
So what can you do when you’re criticized?
Here are some faith-based principles in facing harsh criticisms.
1. Respond, Don’t React.
Get into the core of the truth. When the criticism is true and the person is reliable, accept it. If it is not, forgive the critics. Let go of the reckless comment and move on.
Every criticism has deeper reasons or inner motivations behind. The more skillful you are in identifying the real causes, the better you become in facing it.
Instead of reacting with anger, you have to be proactive. Criticism is often premeditated to demean or belittle you. As such, you have to be prepared and respond to it with careful thought.
2. Resist Your Pride and Be Humble.
Christians believe God is painfully listening to criticisms, especially to His servants. That’s a concern as well as an assurance on your part! You may not hear the extent of the malicious words spoken against you, but you can be sure that God hears it all!
So trust God and be humble. He knows what to do.
Many people think humility is weakness. Jesus Christ disproves that for His strongest character in leadership is nothing less than humility. And this is also the hallmark of Moses’ leadership and attitude against those who turned against him.
Since most criticisms are forms of pride, humility is the best antidote. If you fight arrogant critics with pride, you’re all set on fire. The bigger your ego, the stronger you resist.
Instead, have that quite confidence.
3. Remain Calm.
Don’t lose yourself in the quagmire of criticisms. Your failure is not the measure of your whole identity. Your past does not even determine your future. You can be sure that your perfect God will defend you if you are viciously attacked.
As such, facing criticisms must be approached with prayerful spirit for many of it are beyond our control. Nobody can stop it from flowing from the lips of precarious people.
We cannot stop people finding faults and from saying anything bad against us in their private conversations. Pray for God’s intervention even on their behalf, for they usually do not know what they are doing, including the unforeseen consequences in the near future.
Just be careful when you are not intimidated by criticisms. When critics could not make their way through you, they will attack the nearest person to your heart.
Don’t despair (although this does not mean you’ll not be hurt). Keep your balance.
Glenn Plastina (c) 2017