How to Interpret Criticism

Hate is often what some individuals or groups hurl at those who hold a view opposing them. Those who hurl the epithet of hate do it as though they don’t. The very use indicates they do especially when accompanied by demeaning language. Their accusations are often accompanied by certain derogatory adjectives. I dislike some things for which some stand. 

When subjected to such, realize the reason for criticism is often to quiet the one criticized. No one likes criticism so just don’t speak up for your position to avoid criticism. Thus, the voice of the critic goes unchecked. Basically some criticism is to silence the one criticized. Hence, the critic wins.

This is an enactment of the old adage: “What Peter says about Paul says more about Peter than Paul.

Some of the best insight regarding criticism I ever received was given me by one of the nations best and most successful football coaches who himself was often criticized in spite of his success. He said, just consider the source. In other words, Paul, just consider Peter’s motive. I would only add, and consider who he is and what he does.

Another reaction to criticism is to evaluate whether it is justifiable and if so what positive response you should make. We are all subject to being wrong, often unintentionally.

Hate is defined in the dictionary as “to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest.” I don’t have those feelings regarding anyone. Any person who believes in a thing stands opposed to the anthesis. The critic is not reluctant to stand for his belief. Neither should the one criticized, after evaluating if his cause is just, be reluctant to defend his position.

God is described as love. Not that He does love, of course He does, but that He is love. He is the personification of love. That love necessitates hate of certain things. For example, Scripture notes,”These six things does the Lord hate. Yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16-19)  Note especially the last of these. It is not only the seed sown, but the actual sower.

We have reached the point in America where there are advocates of things contrary to our heritage or moral standard. Some are devout critics of those values and those who espouse them. If you believe in those values, don’t let criticism  mute you.

Be a Martin Luther who under a threat considered to consign one to hell, is traditionally said to have stood before his critics and declared, “Here I stand, I can do no other,” before concluding with “God help me. Amen.”