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How to Find Success When You Call Criticism Feedback

The words we use can cause openness or turn people off. The term criticism has a negative connotation. This can put people on the defensive and keep them resistant to the benefits criticism actually has. Compliments, praise, and criticism have a similarity. They’re really all feedback. Feedback is information that can be used in many ways. We will find success when we determine to call criticism feedback.

How to Evaluate How to Respond to Criticism | Your Home For God

How to Evaluate How to Respond to Criticism.

This is Part 4, “How to Find Success When You Call Criticism Feedback.” See all the posts in the Series below and more are coming! How do you Give and Receive Criticism?

As you read these posts, think of these tips from two angles. First, take them to heart for yourself. Then, take them, and apply them to teaching and training your children how to give and receive criticism so they can become stronger and more filled with Godly character, too. We teach our children in three ways. Think of the acronym, PET. (Click the link to see the video I recorded about this.) Prayer is involved, our Example is so important, and then our actual Teaching or Training comes into play.

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Series on “How to Give and Receive Criticism Like God would want”

I want you to think about this from a Christian-parenting aspect, and think of the cause-and-effect relationship between comparison and criticism.

Are you critical? We moms are very critical, and often the one we’re hardest on is ourself! Then, as moms, of course, we spend a lot of our day correcting our children! How we do it is crucial, isn’t it. Comparison may cause us to be hyper-critical of ourself and others.

As  you raise  your children, comparison can easily affect your view of one of your children. Many adult siblings attest to having grown up with the feeling that, “Mom always  liked you (the sibling) best.” 

Even in our churches and Christian Homeschool groups, comparing your child to another, or your family to another family, and trying to live up to the Joneses, can have a deep and detrimental effect.

Is Comparing Contributing to a Critical Spirit in me?

Is Comparing Contributing to a Critical Spirit in me?

Comparing leads to criticism, not open feedback

When we compare, we become critical. And we often criticize, in the wrong way, for the wrong reason. 

We’ll talk more about that later, but keep it in mind as you read. 

We want to learn to receive criticism well, give it appropriately, and teach our children to be open to it, too.

It’s hard, but possible!

People who don’t resist, but are open to, criticism, use the feedback they receive to make decisions. This is a wise response. When they receive feedback, they go to the LORD, pray over it, see if it lines up with Scripture. In the same way compliments and praise encourage behavior, feedback (and reproof) can discourage it. 

Hearing criticism leaves you with choices. You can:

Receiving critical feedback doesn’t require you to do anything. How you react to criticism is entirely up to you. There are a lot of factors that go into deciding the merit of a critique.

Who is giving the feedback? What is their relationship to you? Are you invested in their opinion? Do they have any authority over your behavior? These questions will help you decide whether or not the feedback is helpful or hurtful.

Weighing these factors against what the Bible tells us about reproof will help us make a wise choice.

What are my Options When I'm Criticized?

What are my Options When I’m Criticized?

You Can Ignore Criticism if You Want To

It’s possible, and sometimes prudent, to ignore criticism. Some people aren’t offering a critique with your best interest at heart. Likewise, if you know what you are doing is the right course of action, it’s appropriate to disregard criticism.

For instance, when we began Homeschooling, well-meaning relatives called our decision into question, and we made the tough decision to ignore their words and be faithful to what we felt God had called us to do.

Though there’s value in hearing tough truths or the impact your actions may be having, ultimately you must decide if you want to ignore feedback.

Implement Criticism If You Want To

Hearing a new perspective can be valuable. Sometimes swift criticism can help you avoid a blunder. Implementing changes based on feedback is helpful when the criticism is righteous and makes sense. Sometimes what feels like criticism is someone looking out for your best interests.

A trusted friend or advisor is a good person to ask when you may not be able to see all the angles, and need a different perspective. They may be more objective, have information that  you don’t, or be able to see dangers ahead that warrant rethinking your position. Here are some verses that encourage getting wise counsel:

  • Proverbs 11:14–“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
  •  Proverbs 24:6–”For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.”   
  • Proverbs 15:22–”Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.”
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Consider Criticism If You Want To

You don’t have to take immediate action when someone offers you critical feedback. Sometimes there are benefits to waiting and considering feedback over time. Businesses often use an accumulation of critical feedback, given over time, to make changes. It’s great to consider critical feedback and keep it as a reference point when making future decisions.

If you are a people-pleaser by nature, may I suggest that you take time to pray, ask your authorities, and wait for at least 24 hours before implementing action in response to criticism.

Ephesians 4:31-32–Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

discuss the criticism, if needed

Critical feedback should be a two-way street. There should be the ability to discuss and the opportunity to clarify by asking questions. Solid feedback serves everyone better when you understand the motives behind it and are able to ask for details. 

If you feel you are able to calmly discuss it, you have respect for the person, and have had good communication with them in the past, you may choose to ask questions to decide if this is something that you should listen to and act on. 

How to Evaluate How to Respond to Criticism | Your Home For God

How to Evaluate How to Respond to Criticism.

People with a solid  relationship with the LORD and a strong faith, who don’t react and stay calm when criticized, can use it as an opportunity to engage with the other person rather than cut themselves off from them. We must always seek peace and pursue it, and resist and put away all bitterness. 

Having an openness to criticism as feedback is important. There are other things that will influence your choice of what to do when criticized, such as considering the source, that we’ll be discussing later.  But, being fully persuaded by the Word of God is perhaps most important. Let everything be done in alignment with the Word of God, prayerfully, and you will be able to answer with a clear conscience when criticized, because you know that what you are doing is God’s will for you, according to His Word.

You must have a strong foundation in the Word of God and “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”  2 Timothy 2:15 Know and obey the Word. You should also strive always to maintain open communication with the LORD through prayer, keeping a clear conscience through confession your sins and receiving forgiveness. Take everything to God. When it becomes your habit to go to Him immediately when criticized, you will find yourself much less prone to react in anger, or defensiveness. 

When it becomes your habit to go to God immediately when criticized, you will find yourself much less prone to react in anger, or defensiveness. 

Wendy Gunn

There are going to be times when criticism hurts, but that shouldn’t always be the case. As you eliminate comparison from your thoughts and heart, focusing intentionally with gratitude on how uniquely and lovingly God created you, and each of your children, you will be far less sensitive to criticism. Learning to see criticism as an important source of feedback, when you’re living according to God’s Word, can help you grow as a person and help grow your Christ-like character and help you build your children’s Godly character.

Read All the Posts in the Series on “How to Give and Receive Criticism Like God would want”

Get your Pretty Printable Scripture cards | Your Home For God

Click to Get Your Free Pretty Printable Scripture Cards. Use them all over your house to draw your family closer to the Lord!

How We Homeschool Series Happening Now!

Are you a New or Newer Homeschooler? Or maybe you’ve been at it for awhile, but really could use some support and encouragement? Join me in the month-long Series, “How We Homeschool” over at The Fervent Mama! I’m privileged to be a Contributor joining other veteran (some finished and some still at it) Homeschool moms each weekday in the month of September posting helpful tips, how-tos, and encouragement for you! There are freebies, deals on Homeschool products you’ll love, Giveawaysand much, much more! So much fun! 

Have a Great Week Making Your Home For God!

P.S. Struggling with parenting? Here’s  my Video Course, “Raising Godly Kids”! There’s a 30-day 100% money-back guarantee, so there’s nothing to lose! Get help today!

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I help overwhelmed moms grow spiritually, with joy in who God uniquely created them (and their families) to be, raise Godly kids, and get their lives organized for God’s glory, through Mentoring, Courses and Coaching.

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