The Faithful Pacesetters

Learning leadership from those who led in the Bible

How the Greatest Leader Handled Criticism

Bible Character: Jesus

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. 1 Peter 2:23 NIV

Jesus Christ received more than his fair share of criticism.

It is easier today, than any other time in history, to be critical of others. Our communication systems are changing, affording people the convenience of offering critique without any liability.

Working within an organization requires engaging with other individuals, leaving us susceptible to the temptation of speaking negatively of others.

One of the favorite topics of discussion and criticism can be leadership. Sometimes it’s justified…sometimes it’s not.

Defensiveness

The first human reaction is to become defensive. I do not endorse that a person cannot defend themselves, but the best leaders do not become extremely uptight every time criticism is leveled.

Evaluate

Fair or unfair, criticism will come your way, and at times it can be hurtful.  Some things to evaluate:

  1. Recognize if the critical words are from those who do not have a vested interested in you.

  2. Going through adversity is an essential aspect of growth.

  3. If criticism is unjustified, it provides opportunity to exercise forgiveness.

  4. Possibly there is some truth to the criticism?

  5. Our worst critics are not as tough on us as we are on ourselves.

Jesus knew words were important, but actions are truth. In spite of the criticism he continued to heal the sick, raise the dead, love his enemies, and spread God’s message.

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8 thoughts on “How the Greatest Leader Handled Criticism

  1. Katherine Chidister on said:

    Good post…I like the part about providing you the opportunity to exercise forgiveness…something that is hard to do when in that situation!

  2. Thanks so much Katherine…you are correct, it’s easier said than done!

  3. There is no harm in constructive criticism and it should be welcomed as a tool to allow personal and professional growth

  4. Kelly Contreras on said:

    I believe people should be able to express themselves especially when it comes to improving their business. However, there is a correct and incorrect way of saying something, unfortunately some supervisors and people in general do not have the respect or maturity to know the difference. I know that criticism has always helped me, we as humans will always take it personal but if we take a step back, remove the emotions and consider all aspect of the business as well as the part everyone has to play in order to make business run criticism can be the best tool for personal and professional growth. I have learned not to look at the person or the delivery of the message but at the message itself, to dissect the message, apply to my life, my work habits and move forward and apply the change. Growth is an uncomfortable time in ones life but one that can not be avoided, if it is embraced and looked at as an opportunity as self improvement it might be more appreciated. It is definitely a mind set. I know as employee’s we all feel as though we are working hard for the company we represent, however there is nothing wrong with the very uncomfortable part of personal growth for our own benefit and self worth.

  5. Kelly,

    “I have learned not to look at the person or the delivery of the message but at the message itself” This is a great approach.

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