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A Critical Reaction

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
October 8, 2020 8:00 pm

A Critical Reaction

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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October 8, 2020 8:00 pm

Tough words hurt. So my friend—an award-winning author—struggled with how to respond to the criticism. His new book had earned 5-star reviews plus a major award. Then a respected magazine reviewer gave him a backhanded compliment, describing his book as well-written yet still criticizing it harshly. Turning to friends, he asked, “How should I reply?”

One friend advised, “Let it go.” I shared advice from writing magazines, including tips to ignore such criticism, or learn from it even while continuing to work and write.

Finally, however, I decided to seek the best advice of all. What does Scripture say about how to react to strong criticism? The book of James advises, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” (1:19). The apostle Paul counsels us to “live in harmony with one another” (Romans 12:16).

An entire chapter of Proverbs, however, offers extended wisdom on reacting to disputes. “A gentle answer turns away wrath,” says Proverbs 15:1. “The one who is patient calms a quarrel” (v. 18). Also, “The one who heeds correction gains understanding” (v. 32). Considering such wisdom, may God help us hold our tongues, as my friend did. More than all, however, wisdom instructs “fear the Lord” (v. 33) because “humility comes before honor.” 

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We're glad you've joined us for a word of encouragement from the Our Daily Bread devotional. Today's reading is titled, A Critical Reaction, and it was written by Patricia Rabin.

Tough words hurt. So my friend, an award-winning author, struggled with how to respond to the criticism he received. His new book had earned five-star reviews, plus a major award. Then a respected magazine reviewer gave him a backhanded compliment, describing his book as well-written, yet still criticizing it harshly. Turning to friends, he asked, how should I reply?

One friend advised, let it go. I shared advice from writing magazines, including tips to ignore such criticism or learn from it, even while continuing to work and write. Finally, however, I decided to see what scripture, which has the best advice of all, has to say about how to react to strong criticism. The Book of James advises, everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.

The Apostle Paul counsels us to live in harmony with one another. An entire chapter of Proverbs, however, offers extended wisdom on reacting to disputes. A gentle answer turns away wrath, says Proverbs 15.1. Verse 18 says, the one who is patient calms a quarrel. Also, verse 32 counsels, the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Considering such wisdom, may God help us hold our tongues, as my friend did. More than all, however, wisdom instructs us, in verse 32, to fear the Lord, because humility comes before honor.

Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Proverbs 15 verses 1 through 2 and verses 31 through 33. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. And now verses 31 through 33, whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. Wisdom's instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.

Let's pray. Dear God, we thank you for helping us to respond humbly and peaceably when we receive criticism. Give us discernment to know if it is truthful or not. Please help us to turn to you and seek your wisdom to know how and where we can grow from it. Help us to use these times as opportunities to build bridges with others instead of letting it divide and destroy relationships. Thank you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-22 03:19:15 / 2024-02-22 03:20:50 / 2

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