4 Ways to Deal With Criticism From Christians

by | Sep 25, 2014 | Woman

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Christians are the only ones who shoot their wounded”? If we were sitting down over a cup of coffee, I would love to know your thoughts about that comment.

I had a great conversation with a friend the other day about how to respond to comments said about other believers. My friend was in a spiritual conversation with a girl who was describing her experience with Christians. The girl said a pastor had told her she was “the spawn of Satan.” Everything in us wants to jump to the girl’s defense and bash the pastor who would say that.

It’s also common to hear Christians and non-Christians alike talk bad about “other Christians,” lumping every believer into a category of being judgmental, legalistic, cheesy, dorky … etc. It’s easy to passively nod in agreement about those “other” Christians being so ______.

But …

Didn’t Jesus say people would know He is God by our love for one another? He didn’t say the unbeliever would know Jesus was God by our taking their side and joining them in pointing the finger at the Christians they came in contact with. 

Rather, people will know Jesus is God by our love, our unselfishly choosing for another’s highest good, of other believers, even believers we don’t know, even believers we don’t agree with or necessarily relate to all that much. How beautiful it would be to see bashing and belittling Jesus’ bride come to an end.

Here are 4 practical ways to deal with criticism from believers. 

 
1. Pray for them. There was a time I was unjustly criticized, and I got angry. I was so angry I just stormed off and neglected my responsibilities and went to vent to God about the person. I started praying for them things like, “God, you show them what you think!” “Show them how wrong they are … convict them!” But gently the Lord spoke to me to really pray for them, to pray the hardest things for me to pray and pray for their best interests. I didn’t want to pray for their good; I wanted God to get ’em! But eventually I did, not because I felt like it, but out of obedience. As I kept praying for this person and for God to give them an incredible ministry someday and other super hard things for me to pray, a crazy thing happened. My heart softened. The anger subsided and I was able to forgive them, even when the person didn’t ask for it. The next week this person said they were sorry—making me the first person they had ever said sorry to in their entire life.

2. Sort out good and bad. Dr. Henry Cloud wrote a great book called Changes That Heal that describes this really well. Basically it says we have a tendency to think in terms of all good or all bad. If we like something or someone, we lean toward thinking it (or they) is all good and can do no wrong. Or if we don’t like something, we tend to think nothing good could come from it. When we receive criticism, we need to process with the Lord what’s good and true about what is being said and be able to separate that from what is not true.

3. Clarify and communicate. When we (or others) are criticized, we need to communicate in a healthy way about the issue. We need to share what we heard (or think we heard), what we felt and thought about it, our desires and then also share what we’d like to see happen in the future. Here’s a great tool to help with this process. 

It is also very helpful to ask questions and reword what you think someone is saying to help clarify what you think someone is saying, because the majority of conflicts are a result of miscommunication.

4. Remember what’s true about you and “them.”
 We fail, and if you’re anything like me, it’s easy to demand mercy for my mistakes yet justice and wrath for others, forgetting that Jesus died for their mistakes too.

When another believer messes up, our knee-jerk reaction is to point the finger and accuse. But here’s the reality (italics mine), “Once you [and they] were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your [and their] evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you [them] by Christ’s physical body through death to present you [them] holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (Col. 1:21-22).

The more we understand our true identity in Christ, we should understand that same identity as given to other believers in Christ as well.

Laura Krokos is the founder and host of Missional Women. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 11 years serving with Master Plan Ministries. Laura is the Staff Women’s Development Coordinator and has discipled more than 150 girls, led over 30 Bible studies and speaks 10 to 20 times a year. Laura is the award-winning author of a 12-week Bible study on First Samuel, Beholding Him, Becoming Missional, recently released Reach; How to Use Your Social Media Influence for the Glory of God, and A Devotional Journey through Judges, and a devotional to accompany the free online Bible study at TheBookofJudges.com.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]