“The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice.” — Proverbs 12:15, NIV
For most people, hearing criticism is not a pleasant experience. Criticism doesn’t always make us feel good. After all, it highlights our faults. However, criticism can convict us and lead us to change and growth when given constructively.
We do not have to fear or dread criticism, but we can choose to embrace it and learn from it. Does this mean we should always take criticism to heart? No. Sometimes criticism is not constructive or not true. However, in other situations constructive criticism can be just what we need to hear to grow and mature in our faith.
Godly Advice and Guidance
“Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.” — Proverbs 24:6, NIV
Seeking and listening to Godly advice and guidance can allow us to learn and develop in our relationship with Christ. It may not always be easy to accept criticism or guidance, especially if it is about something we don’t want to hear. However, we do not have to take criticism or advice as an attack on us personally, but as an opportunity to change and learn for the better.
It is important that we are seeking Godly advice. Not everyone gives good advice, sometimes we may even receive bad advice. It is crucial we use discernment when it comes to telling the difference between the two. We can always go to God in prayer and seek further guidance from others if we are unsure about something and if the advice is productive and good.
Wise counsel is extremely beneficial. When we take Godly wisdom from others, see their point of view and take time to process what we they are saying we may notice things in our lives that we never would have on our own. We may notice the Holy Spirit encouraging us to be generous or accepting because of the advice of others. Or perhaps, we find a fault or habit that we need to pay attention to breaking that we were blind to.
Receiving constructive criticism also shows a level of maturity and willingness to grow. It is hard to hear negative feedback, but it can help us to become more like Jesus Christ. We ultimately want to honor him and sometimes guidance from others is what we need to take steps in that direction.
Building Others Up With Constructive Feedback
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” — Ephesians 4:29, NIV
We should use our words constructively as well. Ephesians talks about the importance of building others up. This means when we are giving advice, we have the ability to do so with love and kindness rather than carelessness. After all, we would not want criticism or guidance given to us harshly.
Our words have power. If we have the ability to help others, we should seize the opportunity if we feel called, but we should not forget about the impact of gentleness and love in the process. Anything we say should also align with the Word of God and not our own opinions or assumptions.
Accepting Godly advice and giving Godly advice can also form connections and community that we will treasure during our lives. Having people we can rely on is of immense value in our Christian walks.
Do you want to learn about the Bible under the guidance of experienced professors? Grand Canyon University offers Theology and Ministry degrees that dive into topics that will help you pursue a career in your passion. Learn more about the College of Theology.
Approved by the local outreach ministry coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on Jan. 17, 2023
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.