• Heidi J. Smith

Showing Criticism or Compassion

Photo credit from Pixabay from Pexels

When was the last time someone criticized you? Showed you compassion? Why is one remembered more?

In my life criticizing comes easier than giving compassion. I open my mouth and out spews judgment.

Is it because I don't stop and try to understand the whole picture? Or am I too proud and think my way is the best, or I would never struggle like that?

How can we will be MORE COMPASSIONATE and NOT so CRITICAL?

We need to realize we're messy too.

We will all be criticized at one time or another. Sometimes the criticism is deserved, but other times it may be undeserved and harsh.

We need to consider the source and listen for any truth. If we are unsure, we can ask a trusted friend for his/her advice (Proverbs 15:31-33).

If the roles are reversed, we need to slow down and consider if the criticism is helpful or hurtful. Are we really trying to love the other person and encourage his/her growth?

In the Bible, accusers dragged a woman caught in adultery to Jesus.

They threatened to stone her while Jesus wrote in the dust with his finger. They pressed him, and Jesus said, All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” John 8:7b

Everyone left.

The woman stood before Jesus, and Jesus asked, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” John 8:10b

“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

John 8:11

Showing more compassions stems from realizing we have areas in our lives that need work too.

I came across this story online and it reminded me to SLOW DOWN and SHOW COMPASSION rather than CRITICIZE. (**adapted from "The Tale of a Fancy Car, a Brick, and Compassion")

A young executive drove his new jaguar through the Chicago neighborhood streets.

He zipped through the streets scanning the area for darting children and slowed down accordingly.

All of a sudden, a brick smashed into his black, shiny car! Overcome with rage, he screeched to a halt, jumped out, and grabbed the little kid by the shirt.

"What are you doing?" the man screamed. "That is going to cost a lot of money."

The trembling child pleaded, "Please sir, I'm sorry. My brother fell out of his wheelchair and I can't lift him. I didn't know what to do. Would you please help me lift him?"

Glancing at the boy laying in the street, compassion flooded the man.

He gently lifted the kid's brother back into his chair and then watched as the little kid wheeled his brother back to their home. He turned and trudged back to his jag.

The young executive never fixed the dent in his car. He wanted to be reminded to not criticize too quickly, but to show compassion instead.

Just as the young executive's dent in his jag reminded him to slow down and love others, the accusers realized they had areas in their lives that need correcting too.

Giving criticism is easy, but showing compassion takes humility and love. May we all SLOW DOWN and be more COMPASSIONATE rather than CRITICAL.


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Heidi J. Smith