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5 Ways to Respond to a Critic without being Controlled
Written by E. Coye Still, III After I preached one Sunday evening on a difficult Bible doctrine, a man commented to me, "Most people here tonight are more confused now than they were when you started." A concerned woman dropped a jewel on my wife: "If Coye had visited that family sooner, they probably wouldn't have left the church." Criticism is inevitable. How we respond to it makes a huge difference. A seasoned pastor wisely observed: "If your critics control you, you're defeated." How might they control you? Do they agitate you to anger? Paralyze you with paranoia? Intimidate you into inactivity? Dunk you in despair?

Here are five ways to respond to a critic with out letting them control you: 1. Respond in your time, not the critic's (Prov. 19:11) A Christian businessman prudently applied James 1:19. At the beginning of every meeting he wrote these initials at the top of his notepad: "QTL" (quick to listen), "STS" (slow to speak), "STA" (slow to anger).

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How can we apply QTL, STS, STA to fielding criticism? Does the critic run your response clock? He shouldn't. It is almost always your prerogative to choose not to respond definitively in a given exchange. Maintain composure. You display wisdom in holding your tongue. "It is to a man's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel" (Proverbs 20:3, NIV). You may buy yourself important time by saying, "I'd like you to clarify for me your concern, and then I want to put some thought into it."
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will help us know when and how to respond to criticism (Prov.lifeway. Isaiah 41:10. Critics are not in control of your tenure. She said it increased his stress and made him less open to the Lord. To speak positively is not to shrink back from confrontation or the need to rebuke the critic. such as respected colleagues. Are your critics maliciously lying about you? Make Psalm 62 your close companion. You may not need to respond at all. she wisely chose to respond as follows: "Coye and I hurt with you over their leaving. a prayer daily upon your lips. Let the decision be yours to respond on the spot. Counselors. NIV). I prayed for the man's salvation and for both his wife and me to be wise. Take it to the Lord (1 Peter 5:7) Anxiety often follows quickly on heels of criticism. and wise when we learn and grow from it. 15:1) Affirm the critic's valid concerns (usually some valid concern exists) and state positively your own concerns. John 16:33. When sharing with our trusted counselors we should: 1. Don't obligate yourself to respond at a later time unless you think its imperative to do so. 2. NIV). and Romans 8:31-39. a discerning spouse. trusted friends. Here are two responses. later.LifeWay: Biblical Solutions for Life http://www. but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue" (Proverbs 16:1.A%253D15097. An effective means of "taking it to the Lord" is to ponder the promises of the Bible to the believer.2815. one mine and one from my wife: A woman once criticized me for being "too direct" in witnessing to her husband in the ICU. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still" (Proverbs 9:8-9. If dismissal does take place. 15:22). It might be helpful for you to talk to him directly. Respond positively (Prov. In regard to criticism. ponder particularly the promises of Psalm 46:10. Don't hand the wheel to the critic. how does God intend to glorify Himself through you? 4. When my wife heard the criticism from others of how I had handled a family departing from our church. and sensitive in sharing the gospel. Describe the situation and ask what else they need to know to understand it 2. In fact.com/lwc/rd_article_content/0. godly parents."The Lord knows those who are his" (2 Timothy 2:19. or not at all.. We prove ourselves discerning.2009 16:35 . Do you fear forced resignation? Remember that "To man belong the plans of the heart. "Rebuke a wise man and he will love you." My wife's response ended the exchange with the critic. Ask what we should learn from the criticism 2 din 3 30. 19:25) Sometimes a criticism contains a needed rebuke. prudent. courageous. NIV). It's not necessary to validate the criticism itself. I acknowledged her concern for her husband's well-being and suggested that we pray together for the Lord to lead both of us in our witnessing to him.. 3. Consider it with wise counselors (Prov.04. Coye has been in touch with them a few times in recent weeks.

Take initiative in friendly interaction (Rom. Ask what action we should take. especially opponents and critics. He communicates that his desire is for friendly personal relations regardless of the differences. 5.lifeway. Basic Principles of Conflict Management © 2001-2009 LifeWay Christian Resources Share this: Blink Del. He puts the potentially uncomfortable conversations first so that he can move on with ease 2. pastor of the University Hills Baptist Church. 1 Timothy 1:20). Of course. Related Articles: 1. NC. He politely greets everyone he meets while making his way quickly to the person with whom he knows he has some difference.2009 16:35 .04. but not controlled! Coye Still. and other such things. He shows himself free from spite or bitterness over previous interaction 4.com/lwc/rd_article_content/0. the Lord will use the process of thinking through the situation with brothers and sisters. Top 10 Predictable Times for Conflict in the Church 3. 3. There is a better way! We can't be exempt from criticism. 12:18) I have a friend who knows how to take the initiative in relating warmly to everyone.icio. He protects himself from any charge of avoidance of a critic 3. work. Used by permission. If criticism casts us into bitterness or despair. if any. we've been criticized and controlled.A%253D15097.LifeWay: Biblical Solutions for Life http://www.2815. it's not always right to continue cordial relationships (see 1 Corinthians 5:7. Adapted from a previous article... 5 Ways to Minister to a Manipulator 2. We can be criticized. My friend invariably walks into a room with a broad smile on his face. in responding to the criticism Even if we don't agree with the counsel we receive. My friend achieves some important things by using this strategy: 1. He engages the person in friendly conversation about family.us Digg Furl Simpy Spurl Y! MyWeb Share your thoughts with other readers: Post Comments Rate this Article 3 din 3 30. Charlotte.

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