Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning. Prov. 9:8‐9
Our response to criticism says a lot about our character. It is common to find critics in many field of life. In journalism, Columnists tell what is right and wrong with society. Theatre critics explain who performed well and who faltered. Literary critics pronounce what is worth reading and what is not. Others, such as friends, neighbours, co-workers, and fellow drivers, give personal criticism in the many areas of life.
In today’s OT bible, reading of Proverbs 9, includes several principles regarding how to respond or not respond to criticism. As you read, be sure to notice the difference between being a wise person and a “mocker.” Learn how to tell the difference between wise and foolish person. Scorners belittle advice and reply invincibly. But wise people consider all things.
Are you a wise person or a “mocker”? You can tell by the way you respond to criticism, (Proverbs 9:7-10).
For instance, how do you normally respond to the following situations? A relative rebukes you for something relatively insignificant that you did a while back; a co-worker questions your judgment on a project; your spouse comments on your attire; your kids demand that you spend more time with them. You pastor comments on you uncaring behaviour. Do you toss back a quick put-down comment or clever retort? Or do you listen to what is being said? A wise person learns from rebukes and criticism and becomes even wiser.
Instead of dismissing every critique of your behaviour, try to see each criticism from the critic’s perspective. consider their words for ways you can improve yourself. Look for lessons in what they have to say and do not mock them. It requires me repeating that how you respond to criticism tells a lot about you. A wise person accepts it and tries to learn from it. A fool throws it back. Do not be a fool.
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray my ears and my heart are will to listen and learn. Give me an understanding heart, that I may cherish the wisdom you teach me even through other people. I pray my eyes see and learn from those things that you allow me to see. In Jesus name, I pray, amen.