“Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do.” – Benjamin Franklin
Criticism and I have never been great friends. Tell me that I’m not as good as someone and I’ll do everything I can to prove you wrong. Argue with me about a theological stance and I will navigate my way through every avenue to defeat you. Dislike my haircut and I’ll shun you for at least 6 months (not really). I’m not one for taking criticism easily; it’s one of my greatest weaknesses.
Even so, I’ve been known for dishing out some strong criticism, as well.
“He doesn’t deserve the success he’s having. I know him. He’s a jerk.”
“That person is ignorant of the facts. They only want to stand on their personal opinion.”
“People who wear Vinyard Vines are…I’ll stop there.”
It’s easy to be a critic. It’s easy to elevate your own status while demeaning someone else. It’s easy to be ignorant, rather than actually take time to get to know others who are “different” than you. Relationships are hard; we would rather just make a quick judgement and move on.
Social media is the world of criticism and condemnation. Progressive Christians attack conservative Christians. Conservative Christians attack progressive Christians. Democrats condemn Republicans. Republicans condemn Democrats. Celtics fans denigrate Lakers fans. Lakers fans…You get it.
What about you? Do you find yourself criticizing and condemning others, rather than taking time to build a relationship with them? Have you simply made a quick judgement, or are you actually investing time into your opinions?
I’m a work in progress and this is one of the areas in which I need help. I’ll own it.
It’s an intriguing idea: what if we all stopped criticizing and began listening to one another instead?
Huh. Strange idea…