Keller on Taking Criticism

keller.jpgThere’s been a good bit of criticism given and taken on TWOG lately, so this seemed like a timely post.

Tim Keller recently posted an excellent piece called “How Do You Take Criticism of Your Views?”

Two key quotes (the second of which was particularly convicting for me):

“First, you should look to see if there is a kernel of truth in even the most exaggerated and unfair broadsides. There is usually such a kernel when the criticism comes from friends, and there is often such truth when the disapproval comes from people who actually know you.”

“It is even easier to fall into a smugness and perhaps be tempted to laugh at how mistaken your critics are. ‘Pathetic…’ you may be tempted to say. Don’t do it. Even if there is not the slightest kernel of truth in what the critic says, you should not mock them in your thoughts. First, remind yourself of examples of your own mistakes, foolishness, and cluelessness in the past, times in which you really got something wrong. Second, pray for the critic, that he or she grows in grace.   …Whatever you do, do anything you can to avoid feeling smug and superior to the critic. Even if you say to yourself that you are just ‘shrugging it off’ and that you are not going to respond to the criticism, you can nonetheless conduct a full defense and refutation in the courtroom of your mind, in which you triumphantly prove how awful and despicable your opponents are. But that is a spiritual trap.”

Read the whole thing.

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