“Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful” (Proverbs 27:6). I hope you have a friend who loves you enough to wound you for your own good. I hope you appreciate it and don’t discount the wound in hurt or rejection.
My daughters act as my faithful friends. They don’t let me get away with much. I’ve had to yell “ouch” innumerable times. It never feels good to learn something disagreeable about yourself but delusion is worse I fear.
If you are on the giving side of criticism remember to ask yourself: do I dread telling my friend this or am I itching to say it? If you are dreading it, your heart is probably right and you will try to say your piece sensitively. On the other hand, if your throat is burning to spit it out your motives may not be right and it would be best to squelch the urge.
If you are on the receiving side of criticism, don’t be defensive. Take a deep breath. Do they have a valid point? Deep in your heart you know if they do. If their words are true you can either grow from them into a better person or harden your heart against the change that is good for you.
Receive faithful wounds with gratitude. They are the ones that you look back on later with a smile and the best part is: they never leave a scar.