How do you deflect criticism and harsh words?  What do you do with the comments you receive, some about yourself some about your beliefs, that come across very bluntly? 

Each of us needs a model to process and deal with criticism.  We need to be able to process that which is true on the one hand while filtering out that which is bad and does not define us.  The Bible’s words to “be slow to speak and slow to anger,” are good to remember in moments of criticism.  There may be a grain of truth or a heap of truth in what we are being told. 

In the end, here are a few things to process comments.  First, we should remember that Satan means Accuser and he continually stands by to accuse Christians, BUT his power is gone.  The blood of Jesus, being washed in and refreshing your mind in what it means to be washed in the blood of Jesus means more than just we’re not condemned, but that we have a right standing with God (Rev 11:12, II Cor 5:21, Rom 8:1).  So if the comment is paralyzing you, plead the power of and refresh your mind on what is the power of Christ’s blood, repent of unrepented sin, and trust in God to justify you.  Study the Armor of God (Eph 6).  Are you saved from Hell and for Heaven (helmet)?  Are your words and actions girded with truth and integrity (belt)?  Study the rest of the armor!

So that is first.  But keep a few other practical notes in mind when being criticized.  How important is the comment?  Is dismantling something central to your beliefs, or is it rebuking a word of sarcasm, stylistic preference, or something else?  One of the above may have to be reconsidered, one may have to be repented of, and one can be shrugged aside and personal preference.  Next, consider the source- who is providing the criticism?  A close friend will require a much more thorough answer than a stranger off the street. 

With these as a few notes, may we be able to press on in heavenly journey and receive, process and throw off those criticisms which prod, pain, and paralyze and follow Christ as ones who have been set free!