Correction vs. Criticism

Two of the most challenging things to face is correction and/or criticism.  They both tend to hurt at first, but only one produces the right outcome.  As a person or leader, you have to discover the difference between two opposing outcomes.


The Bible declares, “To one who listens, valid criticism is like a gold earring or other gold jewelry” (Proverbs 25:12).  The Hebrew word for criticism in this passage means to be “chastened or corrected.”  Notice the word VALID.  The correction has to come from a right person with the right heart.  Don’t allow invalid criticism or correction in your heart.

I have had my share of critics – to be honest, most people feel like this is their spiritual gift!  They can point out everything wrong in your life and leadership, but refuse to examine themselves!  I hate criticism.  I love correction.  Criticism is selfish.  Correction is helpful.  It has a purpose!

Here are the 5 differences between correction and criticism:

Correction Directs —– Criticism Deflates.
When you receive correction it is pointing you somewhere – to a better outcome.  Criticism is not pointing you – it is pointing at you.

Correction Inspects —– Criticism Negates.
Correction is examining your steps to help you become better; while criticism tries to erase all that you have done right by focusing on maybe one thing you have done wrong.

Corrections Reflects —– Criticism Bates.
When I receive correction it will force me to look back on my actions and judge them.  Criticism questions your motives and attempts to create an argument that is not there.

Corrections Perfects —– Criticism Fabricates.
The goal of correction is to help a person become what God designed them to be by lovingly directing them.  Criticism often makes things up.  It becomes the judge, jury and executioner of your heart.

Correction Respects —– Criticism Separates.
I will always receive correction from those who believe in me and for me – but I do not receive it from those who are not truly in my corner.  When someone who is not close to you criticizes you it creates a bigger separation.

Let me say this – never respond to a critic.  It is a waste of time.  At their very nature is the drive to attack, find something wrong and be condescending.  Critics are in the workplace, in our families and yes, even in the church.  Don’t give them a platform.  Don’t allow their negative words to be planted in the soil of your spirit.

As a pastor since 1995, I refuse to allow people with a critical spirit into my inner circle – they will take all the gas out of my spiritual engine.  However, I love to have critical thinkers around me – they correct me when I need it, direct me when I ask for it and develop me through their behavior.

Surround yourself with correctors – not criticizers!


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