ZigOn Handling Critics

I'm comfortable in saying that anyone who has ever done anything of significance has been, at one time or another, unfairly criticized by those who believe they deserve a reward for finding fault.

Question: How do you handle unfair, unjust, erroneous criticism?

One effective way is to understand that even the innocent cannot make everyone they encounter a satisfied customer, a cured patient, a happy member of their organization or a true friend. Not because of what they do or don't do, but because all people have their own faults-including the critics, particularly those who are unfair in their comments.

Solution: Ask for grace to differ from one another in love, particularly when we feel our adversary is wrong. A Jewish scholar of long ago said, "With me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. I do not even judge myself--it is God Who judges me."

One famous American, Dr. Edward Everett, also gives wise counsel. When a newspaper had published false and misleading accounts concerning a certain man, the man went to Dr. Everett for advice. After listening patiently to the man's complaints, Everett said, "My dear sir, do nothing. Half the people who buy that paper never saw the article about you. Half the people who did see it failed to read it. Half of those who read it failed to understand it. Half of those who understood it knew you and refused to believe it. Half of those who believed it were people of no consequence anyway."

Combine the wisdom of the Jewish scholar and Dr. Everett and add what Stanley Jones said when he called his critics "the unpaid guardians of my soul," and you have an effective method of dealing with your critics.