Tag Archives: criticism

Critical Christians

I’m going to pick on someone a little bit. If you’re reading this, I love you!

I posted something on Facebook one day and I had a misspelled word or something. I’m that person, so immediately I got onto Facebook to correct it. And as I finished I had a comment from someone, almost immediately, on the correction I needed to make.

My response: while I was correcting, you were criticizing. I use this example, not to call out anyone, but to call out everyone, because that’s what we do. We criticize, not knowing that that person is making corrections…

Jesus set a great example of patience with people. I don’t think He ever expected anyone to immediately get everything right in their lives. I think He knew that mankind typically required a process of change. And when I think about Jesus, I often think of the criticism of the Pharisees. They had more to say about the people Jesus hung around than anyone. They couldn’t believe He would interact with tax collectors and harlots, people who in their opinion, were filth.

But in such a rush to criticize both Jesus and these people, they missed the fact that meeting Jesus made them want to correct their lifestyles. They watched other people’s salvation stories when they could have had their own. They missed the opportunity to congratulate instead of critique. The opportunity to commend instead of condemn.

I’m afraid that even today, we will still miss it. We’ll miss an opportunity to join Jesus at work or to praise His work because we’re too busy wondering why He’s wasting time on them. We’ll get so sidetracked on who God is working through that we miss the fact that He is working.

It’s not my job to wonder if God is making the right choice. It’s my job to know He is. So when He chooses someone’s life to correct, it would be good to not criticize them. But it would be best to congratulate them.

Luke 19:1-10

Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town.  There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich.  He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.  So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

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You Hate Me

You hate me

Because my skin is dark

As if the color of my skin

Determines whether or not I do my part.

 

You hate me

Because my skin is too light

As if because of that I can’t join the fight

 

You hate me

Because my hair is too thick

Envious that growing hair like this takes no trick.

 

You hate me

Because my hair isn’t straight

An all-natural woman you won’t even date.

 

You hate me

Because I’m different

But don’t you know my difference is what makes me relevant?

 

You hate me

Because I don’t fit in

I don’t have to be with your crowd in order to win.

 

You hate me

Only because it’s easy.

You hate me

Only because you don’t know me.

 

You hate me

Because you’re too afraid to see

That what you hate and critique

Are the things that make me unique.

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Criticism: Constructive or Catering

The problem with criticism is that it’s not constructive anymore. It’s a laundry list of all the things that you’ve done wrong, that you should’ve done right in one person’s opinion. To that fact, it’s also no one telling you how to do it right.

Criticism has been so opinionated that everyone can tell you how it should’ve been done by their standards. It’s so opinionated that it has created a complete impossibility to be constructive. People want you to do your things the way they want it done. And then they pass it off as being constructive. That’s not constructive. That’s a person wanting their opinion to be catered to. That’s catering criticism.

I believe constructive criticism points out the good and suggests how to make things better. That’s not the case anymore. And people have a tough time taking constructive criticism because it has become nothing more than an excuse for people to voice the fact that it wasn’t what they wanted.

Criticism is hard. Although we all know we aren’t perfect, the last thing we want is to be reminded of it by other imperfect people. I’ll admit that one of the hardest parts of writing a book was having it edited and critiqued. It was hard seeing how much I got wrong, but it was constructive because it made my book better.

Being imperfect beings, there will always be things we could have done better. It’s human nature. But, when it comes to our critics, we should always be able to be confident in ourselves and our work regardless of critical opinions. The catering critic wants it done his way. The constructive critic wants it done your way, but even better. If you’re receiving criticism that doesn’t improve your work, you may be dealing with a catering critic. They need to be instructed on the “how-to’s” of proper criticism.

In the meantime, I think it’s always important to be your own worst critic. Don’t give that power to anyone else.

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