“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister (Hebrews 6:10 NKJV).
At a recent Toastmasters event, I gathered up the comments on my five-minute speech. One suggested I needed more work, another thought it had been absolutely perfect. As in every area of our lives, judgment will vary according to who is doing the evaluation.
However, when criticisms mount, we can become discouraged under their weight. We ask ourselves, “Why bother?” The bitter taste of harsh criticism lingers long after the sweet morsel of praise.
How then should a Christian manage criticism?
- Don’t take it personally. Even mean-spirited criticism may have kernels of legitimacy. Ask God to show you what is true and what needs to be ignored.
- Forgive yourself for being imperfect. No matter how much we prepare or practice, someone will come along who will do it better. We should never gauge our effectiveness by criticism that measures us against someone else. God does not expect perfection in our delivery, only a perfect willingness to be used.
- Christ, who was perfect, faced criticism from those He loved the most. Count it all joy. Be sure the only way you’ll avoid criticism is to do nothing.
Linda Wood Rondeau’s most recent release, Fiddler’s Fling by Elk Lake Publishing, is a story of woman who tries to find forgiveness through good deeds. She must learn salvation comes by faith. An award-winning author, Rondeau writes blended contemporary fiction that demonstrates, once surrendered to God, our worst past often becomes our best future. Retired from her long career in human services, she enjoys being able to play golf year around. Readers may visit her website at www.lindarondeau.com, her blog, Salt and Light, or find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus and Goodreads.