Criticism and Critiquing

Sunday, February 4                

“Criticism” and “critique” have the same root meaning, but there’s a world of difference as to how we use them.  Criticism is to pick out flaws that need correction.  Generally, it’s like pointing a finger at someone who has failed in some way.  It implies that the one criticizing could do it better.  That’s pride and arrogance and is discouraging to the one being criticized.  We often keep criticism to ourselves so as not to offend the one being criticized, but it’s still criticism.  For the record, I know this by personal experience.  To critique someone is quite different.  Yes, it picks out flaws just as criticism does, but it also picks out positive things. It’s a fair appraisal of a person or something he has produced—as an essay.  But the most important difference is that it’s meant to encourage.  And there will be little fear of offending.  A fair evaluation will usually be accepted with gratitude.  The critic, on the other hand, will not have to hide his views.  He will not be proud or arrogant, but a friend who wants to help a brother.  Need I say that critiquing someone is from God and criticism is from Satan?

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