It is never easy to accept criticism lightly. We as people lean more towards criticizing everyone, but not ourselves. We only want to hear good things about ourselves. This is not bad. We need to remember that we are not angels and all of us make this or that mistake.
There is no person without sin – without sin is only the Lord. When a person hears bad things about themselves, then it invokes “survival mechanism” and they take a “position” of attack. However, it is worth recognizing criticism, as it is twofold.
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There is criticism which helps us to see our shortcomings. When we take notice of this – we can become better. Jesus in the Gospel Luke 17, 3 says: “Keep watch on yourselves! If your brother does something wrong, rebuke him and, if he is sorry, forgive him”. When people criticize us, who wish us well, in order that we become stronger, then it is worth it for us to listen and to make certain conclusions. Sometimes this criticism may bring us out of a certain “self-admiration”, it may be like a “cold shower” which directs us in the right direction.
But there is a criticism, which destroys us as people, and lowers our self-esteem. This kind of criticism is ruinous.
Under any circumstances, if we want to criticize someone, it is worth asking ourselves the question: Why do I want to do this? What truthfully controls me? Because sometimes criticism hides pity, insults, revenge, hate. Sometimes a person justifies themselves, that they are doing this because they want the person to change. But in your intention, is Christian Love present. In the 1st Letter to the Corinthians 15, 14 apostle Paul says: “Let everything in you happens in love”. Therefore, if there is no love, then even that criticism which wants to help, will ruin a person.
How should we as Christians protect ourselves in front of criticism? When Jesus stood in front of Pontius Pilate one of his guards hit Jesus in the face and said “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong, but if what I have said is right, why do you strike me?” (John 18, 23). In this way Jesus shows us, that we can protect ourselves in front of criticism. We need to evaluate what kind of criticism, and even ask the person: Why are you doing this?” Sometimes this is not easy, but in the Father is our strength and support.
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