“Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes” (Jack Handley).
All joking aside, it is generally the case, from the perspective of the giver and the receiver, that criticism given is “constructive” while criticism received is “destructive.” As it relates to criticism, the consensus seems to be that “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
Before offering unsolicited criticism, it is good to spend time in prayer and self-examination. Because Jesus said, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged” (Mt. 7:1), many are of the opinion that all judgment is forbidden. But Jesus also said, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment” (Jn. 7:24). Jesus did not contradict Himself. There are different kinds of judgment. The kind of judgment Jesus rebuked was hypocritical judgment—condemning others for sins of which we ourselves are guilty (Mt. 7:2-5). Make sure, then, that the kind of judgment exercised in offering criticism to others is “righteousness judgment.” Since the inspired psalmist prayed, “all Your commandments are righteousness” (Ps. 119:172), we would do well to center our criticism on matters that relate to God’s word. Even, then, we should speak “the truth in love” (Eph. 4:15).
We really should seek to “walk a mile” in another’s shoes. Remember the words of our Lord who said, “treat people the same way you want to be treated…” (Mt. 7:12). The process begins with effective listening. James says, “be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” (Jas. 1:19). Although James was talking about our reaction to the word of God, the principle also applies in matters of personal conversation. Let our effect rather than our intent be the measure of success in the words we speak. “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person” (Col. 4:6).