May 01, 2019

Transcending Criticism by Sandi Somers

Many writers (may I daresay all writers) have received negative comments, putdowns or biting remarks about their work or talents or themselves. It hurts!

Through times I’ve been criticized, I’ve learned a lot about some of God’s ways. In addition, this question helped me focus: “What are some of your personal and spiritual developments that have helped you handle criticism?”
Forgiveness is the most necessary ingredient. It’s a choice, an act the will. ““If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you (Matthew 6:14). Forgiveness breaks the chains of bitterness and frees us from resentment or injury.
However, as I learned while counselling, sometimes we need further measures to experience complete forgiveness.
Our spirit needs to be healed. Francis McNutt, who wrote the book, Healing, said, “Jesus eagerly desires to show us how much he cares for us by healing us of those ancient hurts that have withered or broken our hearts and spirits.”[i] (my emphasis).
Our emotional stream is different from our will. We have received a hurt that can burrow deep into our spirits. The next step in forgiveness is to face the hurts—naming each one—and asking the Lord to heal the binding effects of those incidents.
I asked God to give me definition. What was the real issue in criticism? Was there any truth in those comments? Or was the person picking at minute points? Or did she/he have a critical spirit? Or jealousy?
Sometimes God has prompted me to intercede for the other person. This is particularly true where the person has a critical spirit in a number of issues.
Criticism is one person’s opinion, not mine. A challenge for me has been to not let their issue become mine. My attitude and behaviour should reflect who I am, not who they are.
Confide in another writer. My writer friends know me and my writing, and releasing my feelings to someone else helps me see the situation more objectively. 

God is giving me wisdom to speak into the criticism when necessary. Sometimes there is a proper time and way to confront our critics. This has become easier as I’ve gained more confidence in my writing and have a better sense of its value and worth.
Let it go. As Paul advised,I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14)
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Now over to you. Tell your story of how you have transcended criticism. Is it as difficult to write your story? What strategies rooted in strength have you discovered? How has God spoken to you through Scripture, to your spirit, through others, etc.? (Or if you are still wrestling with handling criticism, tell us your journey.)

[i] Francis McNutt. Healing. Notre Dame, IN: Ave Maria Press. 1974. P. 191.


  1. I think this is a very relevant topic for this month's blog posts and is sure to garner discussion and insight.

    1. Welcome back to our blog! I'm so glad your surgery was a success.
      For sure, Tracy, that this topic will bring a lot of insight. I'm looking forward to everyone's perspectives.

  2. I believe, Sandi, that you have opened some doors and windows to let some fresh air in on this subject of rejection/criticism and how to deal with them through healing and objectivity. Thank you for another good start.

    1. Thanks for your comments, Sharon. I had wanted to write on criticism for a few years, but wasn't sure how to frame it, until one of the members in our InScribe writers' group said the words I quoted for this month's theme: "Transcending criticism."

  3. Wonderful guidance on accepting the hurts of criticism and how to let in God to heal them. Thank you!

  4. Thanks for your response, Lynn. I had originally written the incidents where people criticized my writing and me, but then deleted them--somehow I just couldn't broadcast their hurtful statements. Instead, I wrote on some of the ways God healed me--and others--and how God enabled me to transcend those hurts.


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