Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. –Colossians 3:12 NIV
How do we deal with criticism? Negative, non-constructive feedback can be extremely discouraging. When someone speaks harshly, we often become offended, and the message is not received.
Our hearts can become hardened, and we can totally shut down. Opinions that are not spoken in love and outside of God’s word don’t benefit anyone.
Colossians 4:6 (MSG) tells us, “Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.” We need to ask the Holy Spirit to lead us when we feel that we have words of correction for someone else. When spoken in love, we will have a better chance of the other person hearing, connecting, and understanding what we are trying to convey to them.
We may not always be aware that our words of correction can sound like negative criticism instead of loving correction. Good communication keeps a relationship growing, especially when we use God’s Word to guide us. When we minister to another person in a gentle, loving way, they will be more open to what we have to say. As Ephesians 4:2 (NLT) says, “Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love.”
1) Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your mouth, and let your words be spoken in love.
2) Father, help me show love, not hurt, through my words.