Birgit Barandica Eichberger, November 21st, 2006

Oftentimes it is not easy to deal with criticism and critics. If it is not out of constructive criticism, it can make us bitter. I know what I am saying here and I guess many of you out there do, too. Of course, it hurts when we are being criticized for something that is our innermost feeling, conviction. Yet to react out of this hurting, isn't a constructive solution, either. So it would be wise to stop and ponder on what God is saying to this. Sure, the first source to run to is God's Word, the Bible itself. Yet often, God also speaks through others as we know.

Today, I found an interesting article on just this topic, written by John Mason, a popular and anointed minister and author of several books. He said, "Within every person has been placed a desire to be different, distinctive ... to be an original. You don't really want to just 'get by' ... do you? I want to encourage you that regardless of where you are in life, or how much you have or have not accomplished, God has a unique gift and calling for YOU - purposed for only YOU to accomplish.

So, here comes the article:

Sticks and Stones Are Only Thrown at
Fruit-Bearing Trees

by John Mason

John Mason
People with momentum all share one trait; they attract criticism. How you respond to that criticism will determine the rate of your momentum. I was reading a cover story about Billy Graham in Time magazine recently and was surprised to find in that article several criticisms of him from fellow ministers. I was reminded of this fact: all great people get great criticism. Learn to accept and expect the unjust criticisms for your great goals and accomplishments.

It can be beneficial to receive constructive criticism from those who have your best interests at heart, but you're not responsible to respond to those who don't. Don't ever give time to a critic; instead, invest it with a friend. I like what Edward Gibbon said: "I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect."

It's a thousand times easier to criticize than create. That's why critics are never problem solvers. "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain, and most do" (Dale Carnegie). My feeling is that the person who says it cannot be done, should not interrupt the one who is doing it. Just remember, when you are kicked from behind, it means you are out in front.

Critics know the answers without having probed deep enough to know the questions. The critic is convinced that the chief purpose of sunshine is to cast shadows. He doesn't believe anything, but he still wants you to believe him. Like a cynic, he always knows the "price of everything and the value of nothing" (Oscar Wilde). Don't waste time responding to your critics, because you owe nothing to a critic.

Don't belittle - be big; don't become a critic. "We have no more right to put our discordant states of mind into the lives of those around us and rob them of their sunshine and brightness that we have to enter their houses and steal their silverware" (Julia Seton). In criticizing others, remember that you will work overtime for no pay.

Never throw mud. If you do, you may hit your mark, but you will have dirty hands. Don't be a cloud because you failed to become a star. Instead, "Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others" (Optimist Creed). Spend your time and energy creating, not criticizing.

Source: Know Your Limits - Then Ignore Them by John Mason
Excerpt permission granted by Insight Publishing Group

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