John Wesley and a preacher-friend of plain habits were once invited to dinner where the host's daughter, noted for her
beauty, had been profoundly impressed by Wesley's preaching. during a pause in the meal, Wesley's friend took the young
woman's hand and called attention to the sparkling rings she wore. "What do you think of this, sir, for a Methodist hand?"
The girl turned crimson. Wesley likewise was embarrassed, for his aversion to jewelry was only too well known. But with a
benevolent smile, he simply said, "The hand is very beautiful."
Wesley's remark both cooled the too-hot water poured by his friend, and made the foot-washing gentle. The young woman
appeared at the evening service without her jewels, and became a strong Christian.
Criticism is always difficult to accept, but if we receive it with humility and a desire to improve our character it can be
very helpful. Only a fool does not profit when he is rebuked for his mistakes. Several years ago I read a helpful article on this subject.
It stated that when we are criticized we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should
learn from it, even when it is not given with the right motivation and in the right spirit.
The article then offered these four suggestions: (1) Commit the matter instantly to God, asking Him to remove all resentment
or counter-criticism on your part and teach you the needed lessons. (2) Remember that we are all great sinners and that the
one who has criticized us does not begin to know the worst about us. (3) If you have made a mistake or committed a sin, humbly
and frankly confess it to God and to anyone you may have injured. (4) Be willing to learn afresh that you are not infallible and
that you need God's grace and wisdom every moment of the day to keep on the straight path.
When we are criticized, let's accept what is true and act upon it, thereby becoming a stronger person.
He who profits from rebuke is wise.