Fear of the LORD is the foundation of wisdom. Knowledge of the Holy One results in good judgment. (Proverbs 9:10 NLT)
Are you a mocker or a wise person? You can tell by the way you respond to criticism. Instead of replying with a quick put-down or clever retort when rebuked, listen to what is being said. Learn from your critics; this is the path to wisdom. Wisdom begins with knowing God. He gives insight into living because he created life. To know God is not just to know the facts about him; you must stand in awe of him and have a relationship with him. Do you really want to be wise? Get to know God better and better. (See James 1:5 and 2 Peter 1:2-4 for more on how to become wise.) (Tyndal Study Bible)
You can tell who you are by the way you react to criticism, as emphasised in the bold section.
I remember the days before I was saved and still in the world. It makes me think of the words in Galatians: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” This applies to this context too. We are so worried about what the world thinks and how much money we have. It’s more important to love than to worry about what those around us think. Galatians says that this law about love is the most important of all the rules. If we adopt this approach to all concerned and even our work, this world will be a better place. It’s this soft heart that will determine how you will respond to criticism.
“Fear the Lord”. This means to obey and respect the principles in the Bible – love being the most important (1 Corinthians 13:13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.). You see, criticism is not always wrong. There are many lessons to be learned from people’s comments or even their lack of a reaction. One can be criticised by the other’s silence. We should take careful note if people comment on our response. More importantly, we should listen; there might be valuable wisdom there. How sad would it be if we miss the opportunity to learn?
Arm yourself with love and wisdom. The rest will come automatically. And when you do this, the snowball effect is initiated.
“Lord, I pray for obedience, love and wisdom. May I glorify Your Kingdom. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.”