Skip to content

risking the criticism

August 5, 2008

“if you are not being criticized, you may not be doing much.”

is there a risk in working hard? in being passionate about what you do? will you always be able to please everybody? is that a goal?

do you agree with the quote?

why or why not?

74 Comments leave one →
  1. August 5, 2008 3:28 am

    I totally disagree with that quote and your worldly ways. I think you’ve gotten way to liberal and worldly-minded.

  2. August 5, 2008 4:35 am

    I disagree with you as well – you have taken blogging too far now, you need to stay less controversial. But I disagree with Brad, I think you are way too conservative and too spiritually minded.

  3. August 5, 2008 4:43 am

    I am ambivalent about the question and focused more on getting some breakfast. Are you going to criticize me for that? Good. Then I guess I am doing something.

  4. August 5, 2008 4:51 am

    I side with the rebel that saved my soul by dying on the cross 2000 years ago. We can not worry about the things of this world. Set our sites on things above.

    Nothing we accomplish in this world compares to what we can accomplish for the kingdom. And doing so can be controversial for this world.

  5. August 5, 2008 4:59 am

    Yes, yes, no, no,…..yes….but I’m not going to criticize because this post really isn’t doing much….

  6. August 5, 2008 5:21 am

    I give criticism about as well as I receive it. Unless I’m tired, then stupid streams out pretty easily.

  7. August 5, 2008 5:37 am

    every great leader is a risk taker. they gently nudge people out of the comfort zone. they think outside the box. they are willing to put themselves out there to receive criticism if it means the goal is being accomplished. those afraid of change often criticize.

    man, did i really write that insightful stuff?? not my norm!

  8. August 5, 2008 6:10 am

    I Love ya just the way you are Tam!

    peace, love and granola!


  9. Jim2 permalink
    August 5, 2008 6:11 am

    John 15:18 popped into my head when I read your question this morning, but by the time I got to work and actually looked it up, the next verse hit me even harder.
    18 “When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. 19 The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don’t. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you.”
    My struggle is to make sure that I’m being criticized for the right reason, not just for being my normal jerky self.

  10. August 5, 2008 6:32 am

    Great post my friend!!

    I actually don’t agree here, as some criticize no matter what you do. When you’re working hardest….BAM….someone will walk in and pull it all down emotionally with criticizm (spelled?). The only risk is NOT being passionate in what you do…because you’ll never please everyone. You can’t and trying will kill you.

    Do what you love, and follow God’s path while doing so…..He’s the only judge we need to really take stock in. Besides our immediate family, He’s the only one we should really aim to please.

    Now take this above paragraph in general ….. there are times we do need to please others….but you get my drift.

  11. oneDirection permalink
    August 5, 2008 7:02 am

    There shouldn’t be a risk for working hard, if you are someone who works hard then who are you working hard for? I love my work and am very passionate about it. Helping people on a day to day bases is great. I know I can’t always please them but in a time when they feel at their worst I am going to try and make sure that I do. Yet again I do work in a field were there burn out rate is the one of the highest!

    As for the quote I agree with blessed, no matter what, we are going to face someone or something that is always going to criticize us no matter how hard we work!

  12. August 5, 2008 7:05 am

    Its an interesting quote Tam. I disagree though.

    You are not always criticized when working hard. (Well maybe not to your face)

    Hmmm…maybe this quote does hold some truth.

  13. August 5, 2008 7:25 am

    Wow – you got a lot of slapstick answers right off the bat there!

    Ummmmm…. I agree and disagree, for the reasons folks have stated already. “The world will hate you,” very true; fantastic point. “Some people will always criticize,” again, very true. I think it requires discernment to know which is which and either hold your ground or change as need be.

  14. August 5, 2008 7:26 am

    brandi – rock on girl!!

    i’ll be back with my thoughts later.

    R – cute!

  15. August 5, 2008 7:27 am

    That is a sad thought…

  16. Deborah permalink
    August 5, 2008 7:48 am

    Depends on the criticism….people who find fault in everything I generally nod politely to, people who I know have my best interests at heart, in my walk etc. I lend an ear to….alot of times people will criticise you when they themselves feel conviction etc. But, I think, it depends on the criticism and the heart of the criticisor.. (sp) LOL

    It’s good to step out, and make mistakes, that’s how we grow…as far as people pleasing? That’s an impossible task….and a setup for crazimaking…

    Love you Tammers….

  17. August 5, 2008 8:16 am

    totally agree! We recently ramped up our production in our department. Alot more is crossing the desk of our CEO…we’ve had some let downs and have been shot down on some things, but we have also had a couple of bright and shining moments!

    It’s all worth it. Critizim builds strength and character.

  18. August 5, 2008 8:35 am

    Yes I agree. You gotta ruffle the feathers on people now and then.

  19. August 5, 2008 8:41 am

    I heard Colin Powell say that you can’t be a leader and be the most popular (or something to that extent)–that is difficult for me to understand. But it’s true- take any of the disciples lives, takes Jesus’ life during his ministry (and even at 12 in the temple)–Jesus was disliked for breaking social taboos. The disciples quit their day jobs and followed a “lunatic”. They followed a different set of rules.

    I don’t know that I fully agree with the quote. I don’t think if you’re not getting criticism than you’re not doing enough, but maybe that’s because I’m not one of those “rock the boat” kinda people. …I need to be working on that in some ways.

    Perfection isn’t attainable. Winning the popularity contest is the wrong concentration. If Jesus would have tried to do that, He would have compromised on what He KNEW was truth for the sake of not ruffling anyone’s feathers. No, no.

    you can’t “have your cake and eat it too” in the realm of Christianity. You can’t in the realm of any type of leadership for anything ever created.

  20. Jim2 permalink
    August 5, 2008 8:41 am

    One of the cool things about my co-workers – even after criticism, they will acknowledge, “but we like the way you do it better than the way we don’t do it”

    In all, I agree with the quote. Whether it’s envy or some other resentment, I’d rather be criticized for what I do (and accomplish something) than hold back in fear and have nothing done.

  21. August 5, 2008 9:16 am

    I don’t handle criticism well.

    It takes me back to early life and that wasn’t so good.

    If condemnation doesn’t come along with, I handle it better. The balance is difficult to find.

  22. August 5, 2008 9:40 am

    My comment earlier (#2) was a spoof on your post topic! i do think there is ruth in the statement. We as Christians hold back on our spiritual living at time for fear of criticism, me I kind of enjoy stirring up the pot once in awhile. good post Tam!

  23. August 5, 2008 9:43 am

    my thoughts…

    when criticism comes at us while we are doing our ‘job’…say ministry in this example..what do you think causes it? usually it is something that is stretching that person. something that may bring to light an issue, a struggle, a weakness or fault they’d rather not deal with or face. i suppose this example can apply to anything then. so…is that kind of criticism worth it? and is it really about ‘us’ (you) at all? i dont think so. in fact…i think the majority of time, criticism is rarely about us, rather it is illuminating the cracks in those around us and IMO that is exactly what we want. that should be what we’re looking for. how else are we going to know how and where to strengthen our positions and the people in them with us (ministry, job title) if we are not made aware of the weak links. “you are only as strong as your weakest link”. i think that is very true.

    so…if we are not being criticized, or lets say ‘challenged’, never meet any opposition…then what are we doing? my guess is we are being people pleaser’s and peace keepers.

    the only risk in the criticism is us taking it personally and backing down from it. but i think a good leader will always be criticized from those who are insecure, jealous, envious, afraid, or who simply dont get it. and in all of those instances await great opportunities to build up those around us.

    ok, those are some of my thoughts for now… thank you for all of yours…youre getting me thinking!

  24. August 5, 2008 9:44 am

    papa – i know! i though it was funny! now mr. ruggles on the other hand….. 😕

    love you papa!

  25. August 5, 2008 10:28 am

    The reality is that we can move mountains and be criticized or we can sit on the couch and be criticized. We will be criticized no matter what we do.

    Man will always criticize.

    Of course, man’s critique is generally unimportant. God’s opinion is what matters.

  26. August 5, 2008 10:30 am

    tru dat

  27. August 5, 2008 10:34 am

    Hi Tam! When you did that favorite quotes post a bit back this was my very very favorite and I have since shared it with other people. When I read it I felt relieved and encouraged. I felt I could breathe a little easier. Your thoughts posted in comment #23 are marvelous.

    It has only been when we have been making advances that we have met with strong criticism. One example comes to mind. We are renting a house for our orphanage while we look to build, buy or someone donates a house. So we were in for a few months and the landlord (a non-Christian Bolivian lady) made a visit. We had made it clear that we were going to use her property for an orphanage but upon seeing all the kids there she was outraged, criticized us for ‘destroying’ her house, and then raised the rent significantly. God bless her soul. You’d think that she would be happy to see us helping her country. She continues to complain. You can pray that we get a place of our own soon. 🙂 Thanks.

    All that to say that I agree completely with the quote.

    Here is another quote for you from the Message bible in Matthew 5:
    “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds.

  28. August 5, 2008 10:48 am

    I definitely think there is a balance to this. For example, if I were someone everyone at work was criticizing, then would any of them come to me for spiritual guidance or friendship? Would they be open to my witnessing to them?

    I don’t think so. There must be something else to the whole idea of “the world hating us” as Christians. Because on a person to person level, I am much more effective if I am living in a peaceful way with others in order to woo them to Christ.

  29. August 5, 2008 10:58 am

    I tend to receive MORE criticism the less I do. So I guess that means I disagree. 😉

    is there a risk in working hard? in being passionate about what you do? will you always be able to please everybody? is that a goal?

  30. August 5, 2008 11:00 am

    okay I hit submit totally by accident and didn’t even answer those….. so I’ll try again…

    risk in working hard? Yes b/c if you work TOO hard you’ll sacrifice something, you have to.

    risk in being passionate? Again, yes. Same reason.

    Always be able to please everybody? Heck No.

    Is that a goal? Unfortunately yes, even though I know it’s impossible. 😆

    Okay, done. 😉

  31. August 5, 2008 11:02 am

    It really depends on the position you take on.

    and is the criticism, ” constructive” or does it ” bring you down?”

    because only criticism that is meant to help will usually have a positive effect.

    Life experience talking.

    (Tam: It’s just “me” now. I’ll email you later)

  32. August 5, 2008 11:18 am

    whenever risk is involved someone will oppose it…just seems to be the norm..and we can’t please all the people all the time…soooo I am going to agree with the statement…if nothing is being done to further the kingdom..your opposition will be less than someone who is in the enemys face and taking from the dark kingdom..

    Oh was that too spiritual? How about this….
    No one who is a risk taker will have 100% approval from everyone they meet. 😉

  33. August 5, 2008 11:45 am

    “God’s opinion is what matters.” Exactly….the problem comes with all the people who give it to you……

  34. August 5, 2008 11:50 am

    deb-is that like..”if I want your opinion I will give it to you”..just kidding

  35. Heidi permalink
    August 5, 2008 11:52 am

    Criticism comes in shapes, forms, angles, people, even from people you love. But the biggest is from the biggest LIAR himself.

    My confidante and a VERY close girlfriend wrote these words to inspire me as I was sitting at my kitchen table last night. It CHANGED ME!!!

    “Look at your life at this moment. Look at the ministry you have. The studies you lead. Your new position in this amazing ministry opportunity. Your prayer life. Your intense desire to go deeper and deeper with God.”

    Do you think your enemy is liking this much? NO! You know why Satan doesn’t mess with Joe blow down the road?
    Because he already has him where he wants him. Joe blow offers no threat.

    But YOU! Oh – YOU are a different story. Not only are you a dynamo and a force to be reckoned with…through God…you are raising others up to be mighty forces too!

    Satan is one pissed off puppy right now.
    So whats a cowardly enemy to do? Attack. Kick you in your shins. Spit and run.”

    I can continue to nurse my shins and let the criticism gnaw on me or

    I can get up…….. and MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!

  36. August 5, 2008 12:01 pm

    Heidi!!!! clapping hands…jumping up and down… yelling!! big SMILE…that is it…you are on that..and AMEN, GIVE GOD SOME GLORY..oh girl you so started me up!!!

  37. August 5, 2008 12:09 pm

    Happy dance Heidi!!!!!! YAYAY…
    Darla: You got it sista! 😉

  38. August 5, 2008 12:13 pm

    Can I take a somewhat stance on that quote? Somewhat = yes, usually a passion or pursuit of something will be met with criticism by someone at some point, and should only affirm that you are indeed making a good effort. HOWEVER, receiving criticism is usually a negative by-product and it would be better if we didn’t have to deal with it at all.

  39. Heidi permalink
    August 5, 2008 12:13 pm

    Okay… dancing a little.. I jiggle and I don’t want to cause another earthquake her in Cali…

    Yeah that friend really rocked my world last night!!!!

    She was sooooooooo right on!!!!

  40. August 5, 2008 12:18 pm

    Brad said:

    I totally disagree with that quote and your worldly ways. I think you’ve gotten way to liberal and worldly-minded.

    Ummm….was this NOT meant to be tongue-in-cheek?



  41. August 5, 2008 12:31 pm

    In almost every important job/task we take on there is going to be risks involved. It is better to work hard and risk offending, not pleasing, other people, than it is to give less than 100% and risk failing, not accomplishing our goal.

    As Brent said we will be criticized no matter what we do, so I would rather be criticized for succeeding than failing.

    I also agree with Papa, sometimes, such as when a project is stalled, the group your in is getting complacent, it’s a good time to “stir up the pot”.

    We should ask for feedback, constructive criticism, but when people just want to complain, for no valid reason you can discern, than it’s best to just turn off our hearing aid. 🙂

  42. August 5, 2008 12:35 pm

    R- i think brad was being a smart ass. i think 😕 but you can kick it of you wanna 😀

    love you Brad!!!

    heidi – wow! thats all i have to say to that.

    now youve got darla and deb all riled up – i LOVE IT!!!

    epiphany – you make a good point of criticism affirming what we’re doing. i think you are right on there!

    @ngie – you just keep pressing on girl! thats no opposition to even bat one eye lash at. you’re doing a good work – keep it up! and i LOVE the message version of that passage – thank you!!

    michelle – truthfully. i hate criticism. all the hairs on my body stand up when it comes at me. it, too, takes me back to never being able to do anything right as a kid. ever. it has taken a long time, and im still working on it, to not allow it to debilitate me anymore. i have to decide what is truly beneficial in it (not just the stuff that feels good, cuz all things beneficial arent always pleasant to receive) but it doesnt take the initial sting out of it. and if our friend Love were here – he might call that our “ego”. and im afraid he would be right. it rears its ugly head all too often.

    im gonna get back to other comments in a bit…

    thanks everyone! so very much for offering your time and thoughts here…

  43. August 5, 2008 12:35 pm

    ED – AMEN!!

  44. Heidi permalink
    August 5, 2008 12:46 pm

    @ Tam

    ……”wow that’s all I have to say to that”

    I Love you.

  45. August 5, 2008 12:57 pm

    the quote is true if you change out ‘doing much’ with ‘effective’

    there are leaders all over the place the a doing too much…but are they being effective?

  46. August 5, 2008 1:00 pm

    Tam- 😯 it was three in the morning when I recieved your text..just saying.. I love you!

  47. lazrus2 permalink
    August 5, 2008 1:05 pm

    It took me a while to find this Chuck Swindoll quote, but I think it applies to ‘leaders’ (all GOD labels as such, and yes, Heidi, the devil knows who they are too =):

    “One of the occupational hazards of being a leader is receiving criticism. I firmly believe that the leader who does anything that is different or worthwhile or visionary can count on criticism. Who knows, God may be using those very words to teach us some essential lessons. We all receive criticism. So just remember: Filter out what is fact…and ignore the rest.”

    Since God holds those who ‘teach’ (by word or deed — whether labeled ‘leaders’ or not) more accountable (James 3:1), I think we need to be careful to discern justifiable criticism and not ‘lord it over’ people who may be expressing a genuine concern for our growth (Mt. 20:25-28). Seeking God for that and showing compassion for our ‘critics’ is a good start at finding out the real truth about ourselves and them. The devil may be the instigator, but God allows it for the greater good of all involved — to test our willingness to work through it together or be ‘divided and conquered’ by it as the enemy wishes ={.


  48. August 5, 2008 1:30 pm

    Let’s put it this way: If you are not doing something (anything) to advance the Kingdom, why would Satan even pay attention to you? Adversity (may be in the form of criticism) I take as a sign that I’m doing the right thing.

    Unless I’m doing the wrong thing, and then it’s warranted.

  49. August 5, 2008 2:49 pm

    I agree with the quote simply because if I don’t do much its because I’m afraid of being criticized. It took years to be willing to step out on any number of levels, to be myself and leave myself open to interpretation and not be OBSESSED with making everyone understand exactly what I’m doing. Feeling the freedom to do something not designed to gain another’s good opinion. (kind of a convoluted sentence) So if I’m getting criticism, it means that I’m being active rather than sitting around in fear.

  50. August 5, 2008 5:00 pm

    sent you an email. read it from the bottom up.

  51. August 5, 2008 7:00 pm

    Yes, yes, yes! This quote is so true. This is the part of leadership that I HATE. I often act like the criticism doesn’t bother me but sometimes it really gets to me.

    I try not to let it distract me, control me, detour me, or get to me. But if I’m really honest…sometimes it does.

    As much as i would do anything to avoid it I’ve found that if you really give your life to something that counts, criticism is unavoidable.

  52. August 5, 2008 7:08 pm

    Yes, I really do think this is true. If you are passionately doing something, taking risks, and making and impact odds are that someone is not going to like it. Simply by doing something I believe you become a target for criticism by those that aren’t doing something… it gives them something to do. 😉

  53. August 6, 2008 12:28 am

    Generally agree with quote. Criticism can either be positive and helpful/useful or negative and destructive/hurtful.

    As you wise Hub said – you can be criticised for doing or trying too much (by those who in the main are somehow threatened by your efforts) or you can be criticised for doing too little by those with either big egos who just enjoy putting people down or those who want you to lift up and reach your ‘potential’ – whatever that could be?

    Man is a great critic – or rather – we generally like to be a critic more than the critiquee.

    Man’s criticism is mostly unhelpful and unimportant but the exception is when He uses those around you to show you some aspect of yourself that can be ‘improved’ upon.

    There are some on this planet who are vehicles for Him to show you things about yourself – if you choose to accept that. 🙂

    Thank you for showing me some things i needed to know Tam! 🙂


  54. August 6, 2008 1:31 am

    Maybe we could arrange a one on one convo about this in the near future sometime? I would love to chat about this…too many emotions actually to discuss in blog world. Thank you Jim2 about the world hating you and not wanting to be your normal jerky self…yup…thats me.

  55. August 6, 2008 10:55 am

    KA – lets skype!!

    Love – yw. i love you!!!

  56. August 6, 2008 3:07 pm

    i’ve always been criticized, no matter what i do. so i guess the moral of the story for me is that there will always be criticism. and i need to be okay with that and learn how to most responsibly deal with it.

  57. August 6, 2008 4:20 pm

    people are mean criticizing Alece! I won’t have it! nope where are they?? just send them to me… 😉

  58. August 6, 2008 4:26 pm

    thanks, darla! i’ll send ’em your way!

  59. August 6, 2008 4:32 pm

    dalra will take them OUT! i just know it!

  60. August 6, 2008 6:23 pm

    They must be out of their minds…messing with Alece, my sister, dang..they got me in a huff!! I am going to pray that every time they do that..God will make them buy you something nice. 🙂 that should fix them..and you would have some cool stuff to play with…hey it don’t hurt to ask! 🙄

  61. August 6, 2008 11:22 pm

    “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” Elbert Hubbard

  62. lazrus2 permalink
    August 7, 2008 3:29 pm

    I was just over on ‘Love’s’ blog reading recent comments (re: his ‘lust’ post), and was reminded there to come back to the comments he made here (#53).
    One was re: criticism by “those who want to lift you up {maybe even ‘spur on’ I might add} and reach your ‘potential’.”

    and followed up by:
    “There are some on this planet who are vehicles for Him to show you things about yourself – if you choose to accept that.”

    Yet, “choosing to ACCEPT that” is key, and I wouldn’t be who I am (still ‘in progress’ too =) if I hadn’t married one of those people (my biggest, but most needed ‘critic’)!!


  63. August 7, 2008 4:08 pm

    “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.”

    And then you’ll be criticized for dong nothing, saying nothing and being nothing 🙂

  64. August 7, 2008 4:31 pm

    brent said “dong”


  65. August 7, 2008 4:51 pm

    would you like a little ding with that dong?

  66. August 7, 2008 7:17 pm

    alece – you should never use the word “little” in the same sentence with the words ‘ding’ and ‘dong’. let alone on a “criticism” post.

  67. August 7, 2008 7:19 pm

    just boosting your crazy search term status there, tam!

    (sorry, brent.)

  68. August 7, 2008 7:22 pm

    oh good lawd…i cant wait to see what searches pop up now!


  69. August 8, 2008 9:02 am


  70. lazrus2 permalink
    August 8, 2008 3:07 pm

    Yes, I did notice the misspelling too, but opted not to say anything…
    wouldn’t want to be labeled a ‘critic’.
    (At least he was ‘doing’ and ‘saying something’ — though I doubt he’d often be accused of the opposite…. oops, was that critical?)


  71. August 8, 2008 3:13 pm

    nope dana. not critical at all. just attuned in your observation. yes. thats it 😉

  72. August 8, 2008 3:23 pm

    “At least he was ‘doing’ and ’saying something’ — though I doubt he’d often be accused of the opposite…. oops, was that critical?”

    The opposite would be “not doing” and “not saying” , so not critical at all. Sounds more like a compliment 🙂

  73. lazrus2 permalink
    August 8, 2008 9:32 pm

    If that’s what you want to think, you just go ahead =}.


  74. August 9, 2008 10:11 am

    Haha! Love it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: