Praise or Criticism

Praise Or Criticism?

It’s not unusual to hear about trials, disappointments, failures, and setbacks. It’s not unusual for us to hear lessons on how to overcome or how to survive. All of those bring their own set of challenges. None are exempt. And yet, we are often quick to point out the mistakes of others.

However, how often do we hear about the success of others? How often do we hear lessons on those who were successful in the game of faith? How quick are we to compliment those who succeed?

I can hear, “Yes, but if we do that, it will go to their head.” But isn’t it true that all of those negative things will go to a person’s head too? So, if both affect a person’s thinking, then let’s just say nothing. No, that isn’t right either. 

We don’t need any help beating ourselves up over our failures. We do a good enough job ourselves. The last thing we need is someone piling on while they think they’re helping. When we fail, we need someone to help us up. We need someone to tell us we’ll be okay. We need encouragement to persevere.

However, equally important is praise when we succeed. Most of the time we are never short on criticism for failure, but we take success for granted. We absolutely need praise when we accomplish our purpose.

As parents, are we so quick to criticize the failures and bad grades of our children but slow to praise them when they have good grades? Are we slow to praise them when they fight through some difficult challenge and overcome? Our sins are ever before us, but praise is not as prevalent. Let’s look for opportunities to praise more than point out their mistakes. It won’t hurt them. It will most likely help them more than we may think.

Consider your mate. Instead of finding everything under the sun wrong with them, give them praise for their great value to us. Yes, our mate may have flaws. None are perfect. But we ought to want to please more than be a thorn in their side. When was the last time we said to our mate, “Thank you! I love you!”? Oh, we’ll let them know if they’ve failed us. We’ll shine a light on their mistakes. But let’s shine the light even brighter on how great they are for us. Let them know we’re blessed to have them.

What’s the short of all of this? Very simple, it’s the Golden Rule applied where it’s most often overlooked. It’s needed greatly in our homes today. If we practiced this, there’d be no divorces and no abused children. Siblings would also get along better. 

Find an opportunity to praise. Next time we’re prone to be negative, stop and think about the Golden Rule. “Whatever we wish that others do unto us, do unto them.”

Rickie Jenkins