Today’s devotional: helpful criticism, or unjust attack?

Nothing stings like criticism from the mouth of a friend. We’ve all experienced the pain of being criticized or attacked by somebody we trusted. Drawing on Psalm 41:9, in which the psalmist is betrayed by a close friend, this Daily Encounter devotional considers a Christian response to such a situation:

Criticism can be very painful especially when it comes from those who are closest to us. In the long run, however, it does much more harm to the one criticizing than it does to the one being criticized. Furthermore, criticism only destroys us if we allow it to.

If we are being criticized and the criticism is valid, we need to be big enough to accept the criticism and make necessary changes to correct where we have been wrong.

On the other hand, if the criticism is unjust, we need to realize (though easier said than done) that the more secure we become within ourselves, the less others’ criticism will bother us. In such cases I like what another has said, “What you think of me is none of my business.”

Read the full devotional at ACTS International.

The challenge, then, is to honestly and prayerfully evaluate whether the criticism we’ve received is a legitimate complaint or an unfair attack. Think about a time that you were criticized by a friend. Was it the impetus to make an important change in your life? What helps you distinguish helpful criticism from an unjustified attack?

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