TODAY'S WORD 4U 2DAY
'If you listen to correction, you grow in understanding'Proverbs 15:32 NLT
HANDLING CRITICISM (2)
Yesterday we looked at receiving criticism and today we're going to look at healthy ways to pull other people up. Imagine there's a scale of justice and mercy, with justice at one end and mercy at the other. Jesus was obviously perfect, John describes Him as being 'full of truth and grace' (John 1:14). Jesus had justice and mercy meshed in perfect harmony. More often than not, we don't. Perhaps you've heard this illustrated with the quirky phrase, 'You can fall off a horse both ways.'
So, let's consider the minefield of 'Improving situations through constructively criticising others!' Firstly, it's worth asking yourself whether you can handle criticism yourself. If you can't but you still go round telling everyone else what they should be doing, you're making yourself look like a hypocrite. Secondly, ask yourself what your motives are for dishing it out. To make yourself look wise, or for a bit of spiritual prestige? Then you may well be proud. Thirdly, are you fuelled by blame? Then you'll only come across as judgmental and you won't get taken seriously. Fourthly, have you got ideas of how to go forward? If not, is it helpful to even open your mouth? And finally, are you speaking the truth in love? Do they know you genuinely care about them? If you're not respecting them but just shovelling information down their throats, they'll see through it.
Which side of the horse do you fall off, harsh criticism or timid weakness? Read Matthew 18:15-17.