I remember as a 6th grade student at Sylvania Heights Elementary in Miami, Fla., when running for Class President, where someone criticized me for something (??), and I remember distinctly, telling him, “If you think you can do better, then you ought to run.” He did…and he won.
As I have grown older, I’m a bit mellower. The problem is… we all have a tendency to criticize others a bit too quickly… yet, at the same time…. we hate to be on the receiving end of such criticism. While I don’t see myself as being much of a criticizer… I’m sure that I do it on the rare occasion.
The art of constructive criticism is all in “how we construct our criticism. We need to do it such that the person on the receiving end, will sees clearly that they could improve, and are not offended when it’s brought to their attention.
Once, several years ago… a local attorney stood up at a City Council meeting and criticized me “personally” for the position I was taking on a certain item on the Councils Agenda. Not only…was I offended… the Council was offended. The Mayor openly chastised him for his lack of decorum… such that the attorney apologized for it after the meeting, and council rewarded me with a favorable vote.
We are reminded in… Ephesians 4:29 – Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.