Handling Criticism

How Do You Take Criticism by Tim Keller

“The biggest danger of receiving criticism is not to your reputation, but to your heart. You feel the injustice of it and feel sorry for yourself, and it tempts you to despise not only the critic, but the entire group of people from which they come. “Those people…” you mutter under your breath. All this can make you prouder over time.

So how can you avoid this temptation? First, you should look to see if there is a kernel of truth in even the most exaggerated and unfair broadsides. There is usually such a kernel when the criticism comes from friends, and there is often such truth when the disapproval comes from people who actually know you. So even if the censure is partly or even largely mistaken, look for what you may indeed have done wrong. Perhaps you simply acted or spoke in a way that was not circumspect. Maybe the critic is partly right for the wrong reasons. Nevertheless, identify your own short-comings, repent in your own heart before the Lord for what you can, and let that humble you. It will then be possible to learn from the criticism and stay gracious to the critic even if you have to disagree with what he or she has said.

If the criticism comes from someone who doesn’t know you at all (and often this is the case on the internet) it is possible that the criticism is completely unwarranted and profoundly mistaken. I am often pilloried not only for views I do have, but also even more often for views (and motives) that I do not hold at all. When that happens it is even easier to fall into a smugness and perhaps be tempted to laugh at how mistaken your critics are. “Pathetic…” you may be tempted to say. Don’t do it. Even if there is not the slightest kernel of truth in what the critic says, you should not mock them in your thoughts. First, remind yourself of examples of your own mistakes, foolishness, and cluelessness in the past, times in which you really got something wrong. Second, pray for the critic, that he or she grows in grace.”

– Tim Keller

“I hope your performance will savor of a spirit of true humility, and be a means of promoting it in others.”

– John Newton

From Polio to Pilot

“Mother Teresa to me is a guardian angel that I desperately needed at one point in time,” Lewis says. Their relationship was “fueled by her love of God and her [commitment to the] dignity of the human race: everybody — the poor, the hungry, the throwaway of the society, the crippled.” He pauses: “And I fitted all of those.”

Guatam Lewis was an orphaned boy brought into the Home for Children in Kolkata. Yes, Mother’s Teresa’s orphanage. He was crippled by polio but would receive medical care, surgery, and psychiatric counseling under the care of Mother Teresa’s organization. One day when he was flying a kite from the rooftop, they exchanged this conversation:

“You are the pilot of the sky,” [Mother Teresa] declares, sounding almost skeptical. “You don’t believe me,” Lewis says.
“I believe you!” she exclaims.

Now, Guatam really is a pilot and not only that, but he has has a heart to help others who have been crippled like him. He founded Freedom in Air, where he trains people with disabilities to fly!

I love Mother Teresa, and there’s much controversy and hate going on about her… It’s sad that people can so easily hate someone… When clearly she has changed lives. Even if it’s just this one story here, she helped turn someone’s life around 180 degrees. I think even changing one person’s life is so worthy and significant. Mother Teresa was called to love this boy, and she was faithful to that call.

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”

Mother Teresa

Electric Currents And An ‘Emotional Awakening’ For One Man With Autism


Reminds me of Flowers for Algernon. The book poignantly reveals the tragedy of getting what we wanted and realizing that it isn’t what we wanted. The grass looks greener on the other side, but who said green grass is what will make you happy?  You can cross the fence and get to the green grass, only to realize that it isn’t everything you thought it would be. It doesn’t satisfy… and it’s a tragedy.

Lesson to be learned: You don’t get happiness by changing your circumstances, you get happiness by changing your heart.