It’s safe to say that, for the most part, negative critics can be some of the least liked people ever. It seems like their lot in life is to predict your shortcomings, remind you of past mistakes, and be at the ready to point out when you screw up. They’re the paparazzi of spectators.
Not all criticism is bad. There are some good benefits of having critics. Positive criticism challenges me to get better in areas of weakness and reaffirm my areas of strength. I can’t get better unless I know what I need to work on. These are the people who point out areas that need some work and help you get a head-start on fixing those areas.
It’s the negative critics that can eat your morale from the inside out. For the people who are negatively critical with nothing constructive to say, I welcome their criticism for two reasons.
1) It gives me to chance to sharpen how I respond to criticism, especially since their criticisms are usually unfounded and illogical. It makes for some pretty good smiles and laughter later.
2) It allows their attention to be diverted away from people who might not be as readily prepared to handle negative criticism.
Like the story about Andy Stanley that I mentioned yesterday, be prepared to dialogue with your critics. Don’t just disregard their comments, that just deafens you to what could be great learning opportunities. Weigh what you hear against common sense and wise, trusted mentors. And most importantly, care more about what God wants than what others do.