How to Handle Personal Criticism
 Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
September 6, 2017

All Rights Reserved




Close your eyes & lift your human mind up into your indwelling Christ Mind. You & all of us are spiritual beings living a human life. In the past you have been criticized & some of this criticism has cut you to the core & let your with unhealed wounds. This is an opportunity to allow God to heal you at depth of all these old hurts. Feel the love of God & see or image yourself diving deeply into a golden sea of God’s love & life. See & Feel God’s golden light touching & wrapping itself around every inch of your skin. See it working its way into your human body & igniting every cell with golden light & washing you clean of any criticism that has left a mark or hurt inside of you. You are only alive because God is living in & through you. God is uniquely expressing as you. You are God’s perfect creation. God totally accepts you just the way you are for God does not judge or reject any aspect of itself. Rest for a few moments now in an awareness of this Truth allowing God’s love as a golden light surround you from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet, inside & out in the silence.

You are immersed in a golden sea of God’s unconditional love. Your only purpose is to express this love & Truth in thought, feeling & action. You are here to live your gift of life without fear by celebrating your uniqueness by seeing yourself & the world as God sees it & created it. Begin anew today to view yourself & the world in the most positive, uplifting, loving & unifying way. As God’s hands, heart & mind, commit to feeling & expressing only love & contentment. Commit to encouraging yourself & everyone around you to live their highest life. Commit to practicing the presence to draw the strength & inspirtation needed for this journey through human life. Know that you live & move eternally in a sea of God & well-being now & forever. Amen.


Hans criticized everything & everyone his whole life. When he died, St. Peter told him that he could enter Heaven on 1 condition; he must not criticize anything he saw. Hans thought, “How hard could that be?” So he agreed & St. Peter let him in. He was barely through the gate when he saw 2 angels carrying a large beam of wood in such a way that they were knocking it against every object they passed. His eyes opened wide but he said nothing. Next he saw an angel drawing water with a bucket from a fountain & pouring it into a barrel full of holes. The water was running everywhere but again he said nothing. But when he saw a cart stuck in the mud with 1 pair of horses yoked at the front & another pair yoked at the back & an Angel urging both pairs forward simultaneously, it was more than Hans could stand. He began to complain loudly & spout criticism & about how crazy everything was in Heaven. Immediately, he found himself standing outside Heaven’s gate. As he looked back through the closing gate, he saw that the 2 horses on each side of the cart were winged horses & as thy flew in different directions the cart flew out of the mud. Hans knew then, although for him it was a lesson learned too late, what we must all learn. There is always more to every circumstance than what meets the eye & that we can understand in that moment.

Prosperity is a way of looking at life as if everything happens for your benefit. In Truth, it does. “There is only 1 Presence & 1 Power in the universe & in my life. God the Good Omnipotent.” Another way of saying this is “You meant it for evil. God meant it for Good.” Living this Truth takes practice but as you experience more & more life you find by personal experience that it is true. From this perspective you learn to accept ‘WHAT IS’ & are open to learn ‘how to WORK WITH IT’. You stop demanding that people or circumstances change in order to make you happy. You realize that the reason for any event in life is to learn something you need to know in order to take your next step forward in growth toward a greater good, which is another way of saying, ‘a greater expresssion of your Christ Self.

There are 2 kinds of criticism.

1. There is internal criticism. Negative images about yourself, that come from within you because you judge youreself as not measuring UP TO some standard.

2. There is external criticism. Criticism that comes from outside of you when you don’t meet someone’s needs, expectations, or demands. Criticism that comes when you succeed in a way that others perceive as threatening to them obtaining their good.

Is there a day or year that you look back on as the turning point in your life? Mine is 1977. Back in 1977, I was really miserable & in a continual struggle to make ends meet. I was going through a painful divorce & living as a single parent of 2 toddlers. I had a poverty consciousness. I focused my attention on what was lacking from my life. I had a victim consciousness. Everyone & life was out to get me.

On Valentine’s Day in 1977, I began to attend Unity of the Roanoke Valley in Roanoke Virginia. I learned to meditate & do inner work. ‘Inner work’ is another way of saying that I began taking responsibility for my own thoughts & for creating my own experience.

I was spreading my wings for the 1st time & even though I was living alone with 2 little kids & a dog, for the 1st time in my life, I felt free. I had an experince that sometimes happens to people who begin to practice the Presence of God & take personal responsibility. I rose quickly to a level of feeling EUPHORIC SUCCESS. It took me by complete surprise to feel so good & so happy. But something else took me by complete surprise & it was that by being the authentic me for the 1st time in my life, I somehow also was agreeing to being attacked or somehow provoking people to personally attack me. I remember having this 1 particular great day. But even though I was happy, I seemed to invite attack until I felt like the woman in the shower in the Psycho movie. Bu the time I’d been at work for an hour, I was receiving criticism from my co-workers & anyone I came in contact with in person or by phone. It came at me from all sides & I didn’t know why. I didn’t understand it was part of the process & that in order to build a properity consciousness, I had to learn how to handle person criticism. We’ve all been criticized. Sometimes we let person criticism drain us of our motivation to fulfill the dreams God gives us. Sometimes we let person criticism sway us off our path. It’s a natural human tendency to be tempted to buy into a negative self image & a self-defeating attitude & to say, “They’re right. Who do I think I am?” But we always have a choice. We can passively accept their opinion of us or we can opt out of their opinion. Fred Allen who was Editor of Harper’s Magazine once said, “If criticism had any real power to harm, the skunk would be extinct by now.” American writer, lecturer & developer of famous courses in self-improvement, salesmanship, corporate training, public speaking & interpersonal skills, Dale Carnegie said, “The moon would not go on shining if it paid any attention to the dogs that bark at it. If you have people barking at you, realize that, “This is the highest compliment you can receive in life. No 1 ever kicks a dead dog.”

Think about what you would have accomplished if you had never bought into another persons limited opinion & forged ahead with your dream. Think about what you’ve accomplished because of the times you opted out of their criticism & forged ahead. We must not allow criticism, which is a natural part of human society & race consciousness, to end anything great that God has begun. Criticism has no power over you unless you hate your critic & in your own mind you accept some part of their cricicism because you hate yourself. The minute you hate your critic, you give over all your creative power of imagination to your critic. You are telling yourself, “I am going to believe this about myself & churn over it inside my mind until it manifests in my life. When Abraham Lincoln became President, it was a very depressing time for him & his wife Mary because of all the criticism he received. He said, “If I tried to read, much less answer, all the criticisms made of me & all the attacks leveled against me, this office would have to be closed for all other business. I do the very best I know how, the very best I can. & I mean to keep on doing this, down to the very end. If the end brings me out all wrong, 10 angels swearing I had been right would make no difference. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me now will not amount to anything.”

The most powerful thing you can do is to praise & encourage yourself & others. But sometimes we are guided to criticize another. The test is: If it pains me to do so, but sharing is it for the good of the other person then I will. If criticizing them makes me feel good, I know I’m on the wrong path. When criticized ask yourself: “Should I accept or reject this person criticism? Ask this because while criticism may feel bad in the moment, not all criticism is bad. Norman Vincent Peale said, “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” If we are going to be saved by criticism then we have to decide what to reject & what to hold on to. Here is a 5 step process that has helped me & that I hope will help you. Use it when you are or feel criticized.

1. Instead of getting mad & fuming over it for days & allowing it to root negativity in your consciousness, write it down on a piece of paper & allow it to rest there. I do this & place the paper in my Bible on my meditation table until both it & I calm down & until I can look at it without crying, or being angry or any emotion at all.

2nd Ask yourself, “Is there any truth in this? You don’t answer the question. Just ask. This is learning to accept ‘what is.’ To learn to work with ‘what is’ & solve a problem, you must rise in consciousness to a higher level of mind than the level that created the problem.

3. Next you ask of your God mind: “Is there any truth to this? Could this improve my life & the lives of others if I implemented this?”

4. Next rest in the silence & in the gentlest, loving way, you’ll feel a wave of energy come through you that says “Yes” or “No”. “Yes” is an indication that you should adjust your living in this particular way to move forward to your greater good.

5. If it is true, you will get the guidance to make a change to correct your actions to go forward toward your happiness & the fulfillment of your dreams.” If not, then you will be guided to take into account the bias of the speaker or writer. You wouldn’t believe some of the letters, emails, phone messges, etc. that I have gotten since I became a Minister or that have been written & sent to Unity Village or Silent Unity about me. Letters that cut to the quick. When I handle person criticism this way I get a soft answer from Spirit & I give a soft answer to a critic. I answer in the way God would answer & that is with love. A soft answer doesn’t pour out negativity. A soft answer pours out love & love brings prosperity to the situation, because love is prosperity. John 3:2 says, “Beloved I wish above all things that you may prosper & be in health, even as your Soul prospers.” Every situation is filled with potential to expand your prosperity consciousness by releasing the goodness of God. To understand the light within & to discover that you & I are responsible to live every moment in love.


1. Are all your verbal & mental words positive? Do they bless or curse your life?

2. Are you concentrating on solutions or problems in your life?

3. Have you forgiven everyone? All negative conditions? Have you forgiven yourself?

4. Do you tithe money to your spiritual source? Prosperity must have a spiritual basis. Do you really believe, without a doubt, that God is your only source?

5. Do you act as if you do? Faith is a necessity.

6. Have you made a list of goals?

7. Are you acting as if you really believe that you can reach them?

8. How often do you pray?

9. Are you visualizing, when you pray, success or failure?

10. Are you letting negative emotions push away your good?

11. Do you really want prosperity & believe you deserve it?

12. Do you let God do God’s part or do you think that you have to do it all?

You love God by being willing to do what God directs you to do in your life. You are willing to act on what God’s guidance says. You are willing to step forward on faith & rebuild your life right where you are with God’s help.



What do you think?
Click here to share your thoughts about this lesson.

© Unity of Vancouver, 2004 All Rights Reserved.