Friday, 15 June 2012

Criticism - Bring It On

Who in their right mind wants to be criticized?  Who with even a modicum of common sense responds well to being yelled at?  Even a nit wit does not like to be called a derogatory name?  And don’t you just love the term “constructive criticism”, that seems like an oxymoron to me.

So why do we criticize, yell and use derogatory names?  Do we think if we scream a little louder at our spouse they will better understand what we are saying and change the behavior that brought on our tirade?  Do we think that the sharper our tongue and the more biting our sarcasm the more effective will be our communication?  And I know I for one respond really well when someone calls me a less than flattering name.  That old saw “sticks and stones will break my bones but names…” is a lot of malarkey.  Many a child has been scarred by being called something that brought into question their level of intelligence or worse.

So why do we criticize, raise our voice or say hurtful things?  First of all accept as fact that self-centeredness is at the heart of most of our relational problems. Second Corinthians 5:15 says, “And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”  In this verse God is telling us “I had to send my Son to die for you because all you cared about was yourself.”  Unfortunately in our sinful nature most of us still live for ourselves, we still want things done our way.  It is a constant battle to be other-centered as Christ would have it.

Sometimes we want to exert control over a situation or person and by putting them down and/or shouting them down we maintain control.

What I am saying is that criticizing someone, yelling at someone and or hurting them with your words does not produce positive results and more importantly does not glorify God, which is what we Christians are to be about. (1Corinthians 10:31)  I do realize that there is a time, a place and a way to share some insights which IF delivered with the right motivation can be beneficial to the recipient.

Someone who is a true Christian is on a continuous improvement plan (called sanctification) with the goal of becoming more and more like Christ, though we will never arrive this side of heaven.  And here is the kick in the shorts – our spouse is a major player in God’s plan for our improvement.  When a husband and wife are deeply committed and devoted to one another they are in the best position to gently and lovingly share with us how we can become more like Christ.

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