"He [Jesus] did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly."1
"He who fears criticism," declared Thomas Jefferson, "is hopeless. Only those who do things are criticized. The idler is lost sight of in the march of eventsóbut the doer is watched and criticized. To hesitate for fear of criticism loses the battle while the doers march on to victory and triumphs.
"If your cause is right, be not afraid of criticism: Advocate it, expound it, and, if need be, fight for it. Critics always will be, but to the strong-minded they are a help rather than a hindrance. As the horse spurts forward when prodded with the spur, so the doers forge ahead under the lash of criticism. Take your part on life's stage and play your part to the end. Stand for that which is good [that which is right]. Be a doer, not a drone. Look the world in the face and let the critics criticize."
The fact is those who achieve anything worthwhile in life are bound to be the target for the jabs and jibes of jealous lesser men. Furthermore, the person who, for fear of criticism, tries to please everyone ends up pleasing no one.
Realize too, that an incessant, negative criticizer with a chip on his/her shoulder is basically an angry person. They have never resolved their hurts from the past and are looking for hooks to hang their anger on. That is, they are projecting their anger and/or failures on to others rather than accepting the responsibility for their own unresolved issues.
On the other hand, when constructive criticism is given, let's accept it in the spirit in which it is given, evaluate it realistically, and make changes where necessary. This is a characteristic of a mature person.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to be Christ-like when criticized in that I accept all criticism in a mature manner and don't become defensive. Wherever the criticism is valid, help me to accept it gladly and make changes accordingly. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
1. 1 Peter 2:23 (NLT).