Israel Galindo offers an excellent reminder in his post, “Critical” that that criticism is a form of pursuit. His focus is our tendency to criticize others. But remember also that those who criticize you most want to be close to you. Keeping that in mind, if nothing else, can neutralize a bit the intense reaction we can have when we are criticized. Getting neutral about it, being able to step back and see the bigger picture, always helps us think more clearly.
The church I attend, First Baptist Church of Portland, has a new senior minister, Dr. David Wheeler, an old friend of mine. David is someone who keeps this netural attitude naturally. At a recent quarterly meeting he said, “I’m a hard person to fight with. I’ll just smile, and say, ‘you’ve got a point there.'” That comment alone, and the genuine attitude it expresses, bodes well for our joint ministry.