How Do You Respond to Criticism?

October 22, 2020 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Health and Fitness

By Julie Morris –

There are three ways to respond to criticism—but only one leads to healthy living. We can respond as…

1. Victims—When Victims are criticized they say things like, “Poor me!” “I can’t help it!” and “I’m worthless!”
2. Vindictive—Vindictive people say, “It’s his fault!” “She’s a jerk!” and “I’ll get even!”
3. Victors—Victors say, “Is there truth to this criticism?” “I’ll learn from my mistakes!” and “I refuse to criticize them for criticizing me!”

Victims often hide from challenges; Vindictive people bully their way through them and Victors grow from them.

Victims are complainers (“Why me?”). Vindictive people are competitors (“I’m better than you!”) and Victors are cooperative (“What can I learn?”)

Victims are often passive or passive aggressive when challenged. (They either don’t respond or respond by gossiping.) Vindictive people are often aggressive when challenged. (They attack, insult or take revenge.) Victors are usually assertive. (They tell the truth in love and don’t respond to criticism out of fear. They have the courage to confront and the wisdom to do it diplomatically.)

In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NIV), Paul lets us in on how we, as Christians, can be Victors, no matter how hurtful people are to us.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;” We must remember that we  won’t be crushed by criticism if we look to the Lord for our identity.
“perplexed, but not in despair;” We may be perplexed and confused, but we don’t have to be in despair because we know that God loves us and will help us to learn from our mistakes.
“persecuted, but not abandoned;” We may be persecuted unfairly, but we can forgive our enemies, no matter what they have done because God tells us to—and He never tells us to do something that He doesn’t empower us to do.
“struck down, but not destroyed.” We may be temporarily struck down, but no matter how hurt we feel, we can get back up and try again because God is always there to help us.

In which of these three ways do you usually respond to criticism? Take this little test to see. Place a check next to each way you respond to criticism. Then look below to see which type has the most answers—Victim, Vindictive or Victor.

When criticized, I…

1. Tell the person off.
2. Complain about the person to someone else.
3. Tell his boss, spouse or friends about his bad qualities.
4. Feel ashamed.
5. Get mad, but don’t tell anyone.
6. Ask the person to discuss their complaints with me.
7. Deny any wrongdoing.
8. Blame someone else.
9. Try to ignore what the person said.
10. Apologize even if it’s not my fault.


1. Vindictive
2. Victim
3. Vindictive or Victim
4. Victim
5. Victim
6. Victor
7. Victim or Vindictive
8. Vindictive
9. Victim
10. Victim

Let’s learn how to respond to criticism as Victors in Christ—learning from our mistakes, forgiving those who criticize us, rejoicing that the Lord loves us just the way we are and will help us to become the people we want to be.

About Julie Morris

Julie Morris is an internationally recognized author of 12 books, popular motivational speaker and founder of two Christian weight-loss programs Step Forward ( and a lighter and easier version of Step Forward, Guided By Him ( She would love to show you the way to a thinner, not so stressed-out way of living. E-mail her today!
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One Response to “How Do You Respond to Criticism?”
  1. Dawn Wilson says:

    This is powerful, positive, and applicable to so many circumstances. Thank you, Julie.

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