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Over memorial day we went camping for a few days.  We had a great time with the family.  One of the simple activities that we did was play horseshoes.  Maria, my 11 year old daughter, was a little wild in her throws.  My nine year old son Tony (pictured above ) decided that he wasn’t safe around her while she was playing so he went and put on his bicycle helmet “just in case.”  I’m sure Maria felt a little criticized.  Criticism can hurt can’t it?  I’ve certainly had my share.  When I worked on a suicide/crisis line for 3 1/2 years I worked with angry, drunk and very upset people on a regular basis.  Sometimes this meant that I would get chewed out.  So how do we respond to criticism?  Here are some suggestions:

1. Try not to take it personally.  Often it has nothing to do with you.

2.  Toughen up.  I try to remember that hurt people, hurt people.

3.  Turn the other cheek.  Respond with kindness.

4.  Pray for your critic.  Often after a while you’ll begin to “root for them.”

5.  Remember that Jesus died for that person.  They are incredibly valuable and loved by God.

These suggestions help me to respond appropriately.  I encourage you to think through how you will respond the next time you are criticized.  Plan for it; it’s inevitable.

Under His Mercy,

Derek Dickinson, Minister

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