Let me say up front that I do not have a formula for enabling anyone to enjoy criticism. No one finds pleasure in being told he is wrong, that she needs to change the way she does something, that an apology is in order. Even the most accurate and helpful criticism can be painful when it arrives. How much more an unfair accusation flung our way.
Simply stated, there are two kinds of criticisms: the fair and the unfair. The truthful and the slanderous. The well-intentioned and the mean-spirited.
If you live long enough, you will encounter both kinds. How you deal with them will determine a thousand things about your character and your happiness.
Chuck Swindoll has something to say that fits here:
Anybody can accept a reward graciously, and many people can even take their punishment patiently when they have done something wrong. But how many people are equipped to handle mistreatment after they’ve done right? Only Christians are equipped to do that. This is what makes believers stand out. That’s our uniqueness. (from “Bedside Blessings,” a daily devotional)
I’m recalling an early news talk program (a few years back) that was dealing with this very thing. The talkers were wondering something about Sarah Palin.
A shooting had occurred at a political rally in Tucson, Arizona. The shooter, clearly unbalanced, left blogs and notes to express his fear about the way politicians were leading this country. No sooner had this become known than liberal spokespeople began attacking and blaming right-wing conservatives for excessive rhetoric which inflamed the passions of deranged and unstable citizens.
Sarah Palin was in their crosshairs.