How Should I Handle Negative Criticism?
Bible Study

How Should I Handle Negative Criticism?

Not again!

Another nasty statement, I said under my voice. There was no attempt whatsoever to say what I had done wrong only negative and hurtful remarks. 

My mood was downed. I struggled to come to terms with what my critic was thinking.

I spoke to my hubby and shared my hurt. Thankfully, as we talked the issue over, he directed my heart back to the scriptures.
There is so much encouragement from God’s Word.
If you have faced harsh criticism before, you will understand how emotionally draining it is. I did not know how to respond caught between shoving the remark aside or to hit back in my defence *more likely*.
When correction is given with intent of guiding a
person in the right is *positive criticism*, a wise Christian
would receive it gladly and make amends quickly. It is pride and
foolishness to reject a Godly advice.
For References read: Psalm 141:5, Proverbs
10:17, Proverbs 28:23
On the other hand, a negative criticism is a deliberate attack or a
malicious hit on someone in order to cause an emotional, social and otherwise
harm to that person.
It is not a new thing to have people slander someone for no rightful cause other than mischief!
Let’s say it is pure human nature to seek fault,
point fingers and accuse others of wrong doing whether or not they actually
Which brings us back to crux of this discussion, “How should I
handle negative criticism as a Christian?” 

Please study the Book of Daniel.

Bible Reading: Daniel 6 (click to read on-line)
The king’s delight in Daniel sparked up envy so
much so that the other governors began to seek fault and errors in his ways.
Then the commissioners
and satraps began trying to find a ground of accusation against Daniel
in regard to government affairs; but they could find no ground of accusation or
evidence of corruption, inasmuch as he was faithful, and no negligence or
corruption was to be found in him. Daniel
 1)   As you move ahead in
life, you will inevitably get under some people’s skin.
Will there be negative bashes?
Yes, as long as you go forward, expect them.
But I like what Daniel did. You can go over the
scripture again and do a closer study.
You will agree with me that Daniel knew these men
were after him. He had a choice to hit them back, possibly go to the king and
lament over these jealous streaks.
But he chose to ignore them because they were
baseless accusations. 
Don’t forget there must be proven grounds for any accusation to be considered legitimate.

   2)   There is nothing you can do to please
people who deliberately pick fights and never see anything good in what you are
    Stop trying to please your
He flung his windows open as always to pray the
Lord. He went about his daily business.
If there is something to learn from your critic, pick it up, learn it and move ahead. 

If there is nothing move ahead all the same ignoring the distraction and noise of negative criticism. 

3) Choose to react differently: Daniel did not chase after these men, or sob
half way through the night. Not that they didn’t get to him, but he chose to
react differently. We own our reactions and responses.

Our reactions to
negative remarks are purely our choice.
Daniel sought God’s face instead. He desired more than ever to please God and
not his accusers.

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he
maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
Proverbs 16:7
4) Choose God’s approval.Make sure the Lord is in what you are doing. Examine your life and actions and see if you are in faith. Otherwise make amends.

approval from God surpasses commendation from men.

For not he that commendeth himself is
approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.
2Corinthians 10:18
This brings us to lesson five:
5) Allow
God do your fights. You can’t do them. I tried once to do it myself but I made the situation worse!
How could Daniel go up against these
men who had been conspiring to take him down? They knew the right words to rope him in because they
had been brainstorming on Daniel’s case.

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to
them that trouble you; 2Thessalonians 1:6
6) Pray for
your accusers It is persecution to be falsely
accused or wrongly judged but Jesus requires us to pray for those who make it
their mission to find faults in us.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse
you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use
you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44
7) Pray for
yourself. Malicious attacks can be emotionally disturbing but the Lord is with you through this situation and many others. Don’t be discouraged to continue in good faith. Encourage yourself in prayers and in the Word.
i.      Lord,
give me a teachable spirit so I can learn what I am supposed to and a gentle
spirit, so I have self control in the midst of the chaos.
ii. Lord
Jesus, heal my heart of the brokenness and hurt that I feel
The spirit of a man will sustain his
infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?
Proverbs 18:14
iii. Help me dear Jesus, to press on forward. 
Brethren, I count not myself to have
apprehended: but this one thing
I do, forgetting those things
which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Philippians 3:13
8) Speak to a friend. The rebuke of friend is better than flatteries of an enemy. Speaking to a wise friend brings your heart back to the place of the Word, through prayers and encouragement s/he will walk with you.
In summary, I made a 3 minute video to sum up our discussion. Please watch it and you are free to leave comments on YouTube if you are watching it there…

By His Great Grace, 

Ifeoma Samuel
Side note

Dear friends, I have the habit of visiting you before I
respond here on my blog that way I can keep track of blogging friends I am yet
to visit. 

I am yet cover grounds and it may take a little while but I will get to your blog and respond
here too! Thanks for your understanding and I appreciate your kindest comments
thus far☺

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  • Love this prayer about having a teachable and gentle spirit, Ifeoma. Remembering that hurting people hurt people helps me extend grace when those harsh words come my way. Sweet blessings to you, friend. : )

  • Love your words, Ifeoma! Pinned to Pinterest!

  • Hello Ifeoma!
    Thank you for your great post! When I run into people who seem only to want to harm me, not caring for me as I would hope I care for them, I always ask myself, "What happened to them to make them that way?" I was raised under extremely difficult circumstances so I know that sometimes people behave badly because of the hurt they have received. That puts me in a place of empathy, where I can better talk to the Father about them. If they claim to be Christians, all the more reason to pray from a place of empathy.

    PS.. I have been to Nigeria. Are you from there? I has captured my heart! I hope to be able to return someday!

  • How precious your hubby directed your back to scriptures. That's what we should all be doing when life hurts. I've found that others hurt us because they are hurting and we just have to love back as hard as it is.

  • How precious your hubby directed your back to scriptures. That's what we should all be doing when life hurts. I've found that others hurt us because they are hurting and we just have to love back as hard as it is.

  • What a wonderful way to look at the story of Daniel. It is unfortunate that others try to hurt with words, but I am so glad the positive spin you put on this. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week 🙂

  • I love the Scripture,Proverbs 26:2: Like a fluttering sparrow or a darting swallow, an undeserved curse does not come to rest. Shake it off, sister. Focus on the promises of God, rather than the lies of the enemy. Great job encouraging others!

    • 8 years ago

    I believe that making sure we pray for ourselves first is a very important first step. I also feel like our actions, attitude, and words we use to point people to Jesus and not ourselves.

  • Oh negative criticism like you mention is hard to handle! I appreciate your wisdom here in turning to the scriptures and gleaning wisdom from Daniel's story. Good life applications from God's Word here. Thank you.

    • 8 years ago

    I love how you have broken down into steps how to deal with criticism! As a recovering 'people pleaser' I do tend to take criticism to heart, but I know I must give it to God and let Him decide what really is productive feedback, and what needs to tossed away and not penetrate. I am tucking this away into a special place to continually refer back to…

  • What great advice, truth, and Scriptures for such a reoccurring issue. Thank you so much!

  • Great things to think about and act on Ifeoma. Thanks for linking up with the #RaRaLinkup!:-)

  • Loved this post! Thank you for all of the Scriptures you shared. Sharing today on Facebook. God Bless!

  • "Stop trying to please your naysayers." There is a lot of wisdom in this and a lot of freedom in living it! Thanks for linking up to Testimony Tuesday!

  • What a great post, Ifeoma!
    And, I don't know anyone who puts them selves "out there" in ministry who doesn't face criticism, mean comments, and ugly remarks. It just seems to be part of it – a very ugly part!
    You've shared some very helpful and practical insights here! I'm going to share you post on Twitter, FB, Pinterest, and Stumble Upon.
    By the way, you and your ministry bless me! I'm so thankful for you!
    Keep going! Press on!
    Love you much,

  • Good morning, Ifeoma! Great words today! I have been faced with negative criticism in my life and many times my first thought is how am I going to defend myself. Your gentle urging to turn to God is the best response we all could have. Praying for the accuser, reading God's word, and knowing God is willing to fight for us is all we need. Thank you sweet friend for teaching us so well today.

  • Ifeoma,
    Such good advice here…ultimately, as you pointed out, the one opinion that truly matters is that of God. He already sees us through the blood of His Son so our shortcoming are covered. If God is for me, who can be against me…good stuff this am.!

  • Your accusers are just jealous and mean too. I was a young mother and a Christian woman said I was going the way of the world. I thought for a minute and realized she was right. The Lord had dealt with me about not doing this, but I did it anyway. I like your points to let god avenge you, pray for them and also for yourself, and if there is something to learn – – be willing to learn. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.

  • I just try to give my naysayers to God. I'm a person that naturally doesn't like confrontation, so I usually tend to ignore negative comments. As my Grandma always told me "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." By her telling me that since I was too young to remember, it sticks in my head. I try not to let the criticism of others affect me. Great post! God bless!

  • Absolutely true. I wrote about what to do when trolls attack too because I think we need a reminding of what we're dealing with and how to react properly. I believe the Word of God is really important to take to heart because it's our remedy against those harsh untrue criticisms.

  • So glad you reminded us to pray for our accusers. The Book of Daniel is a treasure trove of information and courage when we face injustice.

    Visiting from Five Minute Friday,

  • I love the book of Daniel. The song Dare to Be a Daniel by Phillip Bliss is one of my favorite old songs. Thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

  • I am really working on letting God fight my battles. It is so easy to try and do it on my own but I am working on making sure I give him control. *I found this post on the faithful witness blog link up

  • Hey Ifeoma … I love that your husband took you right to God's Word. And I really appreciate how you talked about letting God fight your battle. Too often we think we've gotta do it all on our own …

    Thanks for this lesson today!

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