Handling Conflict and Criticism
Contention can cause painful injury, especially when we feel misunderstood or wrongly accused. If someone speaks untruths about us, it seems as though salt is being poured into the wound. A typical first reaction is self-defense and an attempt to claim our rights, yet God’s Word teaches a different approach.
Contrary to our natural inclinations, the proper response to criticism and conflict is humility. In Psalm 7, David laments being persecuted but immediately asks the Lord to test his own heart and reveal if he has done anything wrong. Then, instead of taking matters into his own hands, he asks the Lord to vindicate him.
Romans 12:19 reminds us never to take our own revenge, but rather to leave vengeance to God. As Romans 12:21 tells us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” In other words, we must leave the situation with God and trust Him to vindicate us in His time and way.
We should ask ourselves, Am I willing to check my own motives before pointing a finger or becoming defensive? Jesus said we’re to bless those who curse us (Luke 6:28). So let’s ask Him for the grace and humility to examine our own heart and trust Him to be our defender.