How can one use criticism to grow instead of break down and feel condemned? How can you master pride yet keep your self-worth, even if you are right?
Impossible it seems.
It's a very hard thing… It's easier if you are actually wrong – or at least the answer is easier to give. Haha.
Just get over yourself. Accept the correction. Just change.
But when you aren't wrong?
(And when you are truly not in denial)
I think most of us will find ourselves facing this one time or another. But not often – because normally, let's face it. We are wrong. We deserve the criticism. And even if there is wrong on the other side, there is usually just as much fault if not more on our side.
But there will be those few times when this is not the case. And this can be very hurtful, and even discouraging if the people accusing are very close, yet not open to what's true.
Still we need to remember a few things, so we don't join the wrong side. Because it's very easy to start out innocent and become truly guilty.
Here are my tips for keeping from drowning in a place where condemning words seem to be crashing all around you, pulling you in, so that all you want to do is scream out in frustration and beat some sense into EVERYONE.
1. No matter what, do not allow what has happened affect you or your beliefs. Individuals do not define God, but most are imperfect broken shards of His reflection trying to glue themselves back together to be more like Yeshua (Jesus), but failing miserably. Including you.
2. Remember that you AREN'T perfect. Try and see what you may have done wrong. Admit that, and work on fixing THAT and CHANGING.
But he gives more grace. Therefore he says, God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble. ~ James 4:6
3. Apologize – even if you don't need to.
I'm not saying lie. I'm saying being a peace-maker.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord ~ Hebrews 12:14. See also Romans 12:18.
Don't add to the tension by holding on to pride. Just be sorry. “I'm sorry that I (-). I didn't mean to do that to you.”
Don't be haughty when apologizing. Be sincere.
4. It's OK to be right.
Many will respect you for being humble – most know how hard it is ;b. And even if they know that you think you were still in the right, if they see that you are sorry for offending them most will not be so upset.
Or maybe even feel a little convicted. Though don't count on that too much. LOL.
So, don't try to make peace by giving in and admitting something that isn't true.
It might not always work. What then?
Don't become bitter. Don't hate. And don't return the evil by harshly criticizing the person in return.
Yes, you may be right, the other wrong. But sometimes some things just won't and can't ever be proved in this world.
But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. ~ Matthew 5:48
But you don't have to become ugly with hate or bitterness. You don't have to allow anything to change you or your beliefs in God. And you don't have to join the hypocrisy by allowing what they said to be just like them – closed to the truth of God's love, truth, and righteousness.
Remember that, and even when people tear you down, you can still be whole and full.
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. ~ Psalm 136:1