Constructive Criticism? Or Complaining? Or Being Mean?

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There seems to be a trend today of being extremely critical, bordering on complaining, and calling it something like “constructive criticism”. (I’m sure it’s not a trend today, but always has been. I just hear it a lot now.) It’s the people that no matter what you do, how much heart you put into something, how much you care, they always say something like, “That was great, BUT….”. I know for some people when they offer critique, they mean it in a spirit of love and encouragement. But often, when there is always a “BUT”, what was meant as positive critique just comes across as complaining, or being overly critical.

When Scripture speaks of letting no unwholesome talk come out of our mouths, or of our language being seasoned with salt, I’m afraid we have made that too narrow. We use those texts to keep our teenagers from cussing or using language that might be socially unacceptable. While I affirm “clean” language in the traditional sense, I’m more and more convinced those texts also speak to the spirit with which we speak to one another.

So, just some encouragement today to take inventory of your language. I’m doing the same. For every piece of constructive criticism that we offer, we ought to counter it with loads and loads of positive encouragement. Every time we are set to give someone some critique to “make them better”, let’s check if it is truly in a spirit of love, and if it is even worth offering. There are plenty of critics in the world, but not near enough encouragers. I don’t want to be known as the critic. If you think something positive about someone, or something they did, don’t hold it in. Tell them about it.

DISCLAIMER: This post is not in response to anyone or anything said to me. Seriously. It was just on my heart today. Peace, friends.

“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up…” – I Thessalonians 5:11

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