Critics often claim they are here to tell you the truth and when it comes to critiquing others there are two extremes. The first is a positive example, which is a constructive critic. Someone who is a constructive critic offers their critique to help improve the person they are evaluating. In other words, they are trying to tear down a negative in one’s life to make the person stronger. They are honest with you, but they want to end their critique on a positive thought.
The second type of critic is a deconstructive cynic. This person is one who offers critiques in a negative and judgmental way, but they fail to ever offer any positive advice with their critique. Truthfully, they use their honesty to tear a person down than to build them up. Deconstructive critics are often unhappy with themselves and this behavior helps them feel better. Proverbs 10:11 says it best, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, But the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.” Rarely does a cynic have their target’s best interest in mind.
Obviously, one critique is better than another with the best being the constructive critic. The first difference between the two is found in their authority to speak truth to you. This will be focus of this post because if they do not have any authority in your life you should not listen.
1. Acknowledge When Critics DO NOT HAVE Authority To Judge You.
Reflect on the people you hear from the most in life. How often do they communicate with you? Also, think about the people you rarely hear from. Do you hear from some people when they only have something negative to say? A clear way to recognize a deconstructive cynic is when they only have something negative to say. Therefore, if they only offer negative advice then they do not posses the authority to critique any part of your life. If they truly loved you then you would hear from them more often and when they would offer encouragement too.
2. Acknowledge When Critics DO HAVE The Authority To Critique You.
Many deconstructive cynics claim their advice is out of care for you. However, if they did care their interaction would represent itself in positive ways too. This contrasts with a constructive critic who does care about you. You will know a critic loves you because there will be times when they will only encourage you. As Hebrews 10:24 says, “and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds.” Their honesty about your flaws will carry the proper authority because they have positively poured into your life towards love and good deeds.
Again, there are two types of critics. The first is the constructive critic and the deconstructive cynic with the former being the one whose advice you want to consider. Therefore, in closing before you let anyone speak any criticism into your life, be sure they posses the authority to speak it. They should encourage you first and then critique you second, if they fail to keep this order they have placed the cart before the horse and you should never consider their advice.