How I Feel About Petty Criticism

Tell me your criticism.

Go ahead and tell me.

I’m listening.

I’ve heard it all before.

I sing too loud.
I talk too much.
I cry too easily.

Tell me more.

I smile too much.
I talk too loud.
I hug too much.

More?

I love too freely.
I forgive too easily.
I forget too quickly.

Even more?

My clothes are all wrong.
My shoes are too high.
My hair is too long.

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Christian Criticism

Oh, I know there’s more. But we’ll stop. You’ve made your point, in the hallways and aisles, and even the worship center, Christian critic. I’ve heard you loud and clear.

And make no mistake. You’ve hurt me. You’ve hurt the ones I love. The wounds are deep and the scars are still tender. I’d expect nothing less from the unsaved and hopeless. But you, my brothers and sisters in Christ?

I hate to see you coming. I brace myself for the jab.

In your eyes I’ll forever be too much or not enough.

I know “hurting people, hurt people” and while that phrase helps me understand you and even sympathize with you a bit; it does not lesson the pain I feel in the moment of your stinging criticism.

Constructive Criticism

Constructive criticism? I thought you might say that so I Googled the definition.

Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. The purpose of constructive criticism is to improve the outcome.

So let’s break this down. Here’s how I see it.

1. As for “valid and well-reasoned”? Uh.No. Your pettiness is neither. “Opinions”? Yep. That’s about all it is.
2. As for “the work”? Your commentary is seldom about my work and most often intensely personal. In either case, your opinion is rarely valid or well-reasoned.
3. As for “involving both positive and negative comments”? I rarely hear the positive and if a scathing negative is followed up by a weak positive, I probably won’t be able to hear it.
4. As for “in a friendly manner”? If by friendly you mean you smile while you say it to me in front of several people in order to heighten the embarrassment for me; then, yes, I’ll give you “offered in a friendly manner”.
5. As for “offered in an oppositional one”? Do I even need to go there?
6. As for “the purpose. . .to improve the outcome”? Exactly what outcome are you aiming for? That I’ll be more, look more, act more like you? You’re just trying to help me you say? Stop. You’re not helping.

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Dear Christian critic:

Can we cease the sharing of petty preferences and opinions whenever the notion strikes?

Please, for the sake of us all who are already wounded by the Enemy’s fiery darts and our own poor choices, can we let the cruel critic in all of us die. Tweet this

This kind of unnecessary, petty  judgment passing does nothing—-NOTHING—-to benefit the Body of Christ and hurts the work of the kingdom of God.

I cannot for the life of me imagine or find anywhere in Scripture, where Jesus ever engaged in such trivial matters. He was always, always concerned with the heart of each individual He encountered. He was daily leaning in to build up, raise up, and call up disciples. Should we be or do any less?

Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10) He is our Way to an abundant life and He is our example of how to live with one another in the blessed love of Father God.

Our fleshly selves are likely, at any given moment, to be too much or not enough of something. But as we daily walk in the Spirit, we are perfect (complete) in Christ. We can accept that we and others are not all that we will be one day when we see Jesus face to face. So let us leave the work of transformation to the Only One Who is capable of changing us. And if and when He invites us into the process with Him, may our words and thoughts be “loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-controlled” (Galatians 5:22-23).

So tell me. Go ahead and tell me. I can hear you loud and clear.

But my heart is listening, Listening, LISTENING to the One who rejoices over me with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17). I am held by God in His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10). I am loved by the Christ who died for me even while I was yet a sinner and because I was hopeless apart from Him. Yep. He’s the One I’m listening to. His words are life to me and nothing can ever separate me from Him.

So I’ll keep singing His praises too loudly and talking too much about this one, wonderful life I have in Christ. I’ll keep hugging too much and crying too easily and loving and forgiving and forgetting. And I’ll outwardly adorn myself to the glory of God.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

Will you resolve with me today to:

1. Forgive the critic who has wounded you. Make a list if you need to and pray over each incident. (I’m working on this now.) Thank God for his forgiveness and ask Him to help you forgive. Each time the Enemy tries to remind you of the offense, remind yourself and him, that you’ve forgiven the offender and the offense through the power and finished work of Jesus Christ.

2. Be a cheerleader rather than a critic. Being critical can become a habit (and may be already) for you. The moment our minds think negatively about someone we can choose to think differently. We can find a positive attribute about each and every person made in the image of God. And don’t stop with just not being a critic——choose to be an encourager, a complimenter, of all that’s good and perfect(complete) in the ones we encounter each day.

3. Speak Words of Life. Click here for a printable list of Bible verses to help.

criticism, tongue

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2 Responses to How I Feel About Petty Criticism

  1. jay mcelroy January 5, 2016 at 7:11 am #

    Well that was a crazy article…………….JK., Hope you have a blessed day. On target as always.

    jay

    • Stacy Averette January 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

      Thanks, Jay!