While we may have had many an opportunity to have to 'deal' with criticism being leveled at us... it doesn't necessarily mean that we have handled it really well.
As you know I have been reading the book unChristian, and they gave me a few idea's for this post.
- Respond with the right perspective
In fact Jesus taught in the beatitudes that we should consider ourselves blessed when criticized for righteousness sake.
Paul counted it a privilege when criticized and persecuted to be connected with the name of Jesus.
When Jesus' critics tried to set the agenda in their criticism Jesus redefined what the boundaries of the debate / criticism were really about.
'Shouldn't the sabbath be kept holy?'
"Of course they should be... but for what reason?"
3. Walk a mile in their shoes
Jesus always discerned what people's underlying motives where. Was the person just being hostile and self-righteous... or was this coming from a place of hurt? After all, hurt people... hurt people!
4. Focus on what you can control
While most people shake with anger when criticized... instead of being concerned with what has been done to you... one's focus must be upon what is happening in me!
I have always found it interesting that Jesus taught us to bless those who criticize and persecute us. But when we pray for our critics ... something happens on the inside of us. Our focus switches from ourselves and what has been done to us... and we begin to experience true love and compassion for our critics.
I'd love to hear your thoughts about how you have personally handled criticism in your life : )