How To Handle Online Criticism: Getting Ripped
I recently got ripped for a blog post. I didn’t mind (this time), but when someone goes off on us it raises many questions:
Why does he or she feel the need to say this? What is he feeling? What is she thinking? What is the problem they are trying to solve?
Is their critique fair? Or is it negative? Or fair but too much of a pile on? And is it fair to criticize a single blog or Facebook post in isolation without considering everything else you have said in context? And then there are the differences in personality and temperament. For example, is it fair for someone who wants a mathematical answer to criticize a poet’s approach because he is not also a mathematician?
Frankly, I could probably crush this and other criticisms with a sharp retort. I could adroitly impale my critics with their own pens. I could coherently point out how this person has criticized me not for what I “did” write, but because I didn’t write the article they “wish” I would’ve written. I could handily explain that it’s not fair to evaluate a post without considering the intentions of the poster.
However, I can also meditate on how Jesus was criticized, falsely accused, persecuted, even laughed at, and yet he did not respond in kind. And I can wonder how he would respond.
Has a judgment of charity been extended to me? No. Is this person treating me the way that he would want to be treated? No.
But the more important question is, will I respond by treating him the way that I want to be treated?
So by faith I choose to love this person not in spite of who they are, but because of whose I am.
And I’m praying I will still feel the same way in 10 minutes.