Prov. 29:1 Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken beyond repair.
We don’t like to be criticized. We don’t like it when someone points out to us our faults and failures. We like to think of ourselves as too good to be criticized. We want others to see us in our strengths and not our weaknesses. We take pride in ourselves and take it as a personal attack when someone criticizes us.
What we need to remind ourselves of is that criticism is not all bad for us. It is good to know what others see in us that is wrong. Otherwise, how can we know what we need to fix? We know we are far from being who we could or should be, so knowing what we need to work on is good for us.
Now granted, attitude is everything when criticisms are given. If it is done in love with the intent of helping, then it should be welcomed with open arms. We need help in order to grow into godliness. We need to spur one another on in faith. We need others to help us because sinful pride often keeps us from seeing ourselves as we should. If it is not done in love and received in love, criticism will create harsh feelings and a resistance to change.
Criticism should be handled with humility and thankfulness. Thank the Lord for those who love us enough to help us improve our lives before Him. Accept graciously what others are saying and ask the Lord to help you to do better. And when it becomes necessary for you to do the criticizing, do it in love and with much grace. Ask the Lord to check your attitude to be sure you don’t do it with maliciousness. Ask Him for proper words and the proper timing. Let the Lord guide you so that in all you say you will edify to the glory and honor of His name.
Criticism is an essential part of healthy spiritual growth. No one gets it right all the time. We need to know how others perceive our walk with the Lord. Not being open to criticism hardens the soul and prevents the Lord from helping us to become holy and acceptable in His sight.