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When the Dragon May Be Right

Get a friend to tell you your faults, or better still, welcome an enemy who will watch you keenly and sting you savagely. What a blessing such an irritating critic will be to a wise man, what an intolerable nuisance to a fool!
Charles Spurgeon

Nobody enjoys criticism, especially from dragons. Their "constructive" observations often come across like a wrecking ball — maybe beneficial in the long run, but the immediate effect is noise, rubble, and a large hole in your self-esteem.

Yet even dragons can sometimes be right, and almost all pastors are willing to benefit if the criticism is valid. As Proverbs 17:10 says, "Criticism to an intelligent person has more effect than a hundred lashes on a fool."

The problem is deciding which criticisms are valid and which are unjustified. It requires a tough hide and a sensitive heart. And a few specific criteria don't hurt. Here are several tests pastors have identified to help distinguish fair from unfair attacks.

Consider the source. The first test is ...

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July/August
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