When others criticise you

If you don’t venture into anything in life, you rarely get criticised, you are just written off as ‘lazy. 

 Aristotle remarked, “Criticism is something we can avoid easily - by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.”

When you fix goals and strive to achieve them, criticism comes your way. Negative criticisms can come from conferees, colleagues, friends, classmates or superiors out of jealousy or envy, or as an expression of disagreement with you. 

However you look at it, criticism is an indicator that you are alive and kicking. Treat it as a compliment. Respond to negative and destructive criticism or envious slander, by your work.

Colonel George Washington Goethals was severely criticised while he undertook supervising the building of the Panama Canal. The builders suffered under poor geographic conditions, bad weather and even the outbreak of disease. Many workers even abandoned work halfway. 

His critics said, “It is impossible.” But he continued with determination. 

They asked, “Are you not going to answer your critics?” “Yes, in time, I will answer my critics,” he said. “How?” they asked. “When I complete building the canal.”On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal was opened for use and thousands of critics were silenced.

Take a look at the beat constables who walk through our streets at night. If they stopped at every barking dog on the street, they would never reach the end of the street.

Jesus, a Jew, was often found giving comfort to the socially ostracised; tax collectors, prostitutes and drunkards. 

It was unthinkable for devout Jews to be in such company. That is why the Pharisees and the teachers of the law criticised Jesus saying, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (Luke 15:2). The disciples too were shocked to see Jesus talk to a Samaritan woman (Samaritans were treated like outcastes).

Jesus always chose to answer his critics creatively, concretely and compassionately by his work and lifestyle. 

His defying attendance at dinners and frequent conversations with the lost and the lonely and those treated with scorn, was how he answered his critics. It took time for people to be convinced and accept him as God-sent. Many of his critics even became his followers.

If you are a victim of unjust criticism, answer your critics by your work and prove your point. 

If you are someone who criticises out of jealousy, remember that it is very often our own imperfections that induce us to negatively criticise others. 

To such people, Jesus says, “Do not look at the speck in your brother’s eye and ignore the log in your own” (Matthew 7:3).

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