Devotionals for Working Women
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Ecclesiastes 7:5 (NLT)
It is better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool!

Taking criticism is difficult, especially when we have worked very hard on some project and we are proud of our results. However, we can’t grow without criticism. How do we improve if nobody dares to tell us anything because they know what our reaction will be? The key is to know who the person criticizing you is. If it’s coming from a wise person, receive the criticism and make the appropriate changes.

If it’s coming from a person you don’t trust or has the reputation of being a fool, then disregard it. The question is, how do we know what to receive, what to disregard, who is wise, and who is a fool? Sometimes we will know right away just by knowing the source, the person who criticized us. Other times, we will have to take the criticism to the Lord and ask Him to help us discern its validity.

We need to always be open for correction, especially when it comes from the Lord. He knows how to deal with each one of us without hurting us. Sometimes He uses people close to us to speak into our lives so we can improve. On the other hand, receiving praise is easy. We may receive praises from fools or people who say things to gain favor with us, not because they mean it.

We must watch out for those praises and not take them too seriously. Verse 7 says, “Extortion turns wise people into fools, and bribes corrupt the heart.” We have to treat praises the same way we do criticism. We take them to the Lord to help us discern and to protect us from being hurt from criticism or becoming proud from praise.

Source: Devotions for Working Women by Marcia Malzahn.
Excerpt permission granted by Expert Publishing, Inc.

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