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