How Does The Bible Teach Us To Respond To Criticism And Setbacks In Order To Become Stronger?
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How Does The Bible Teach Us To Respond To Criticism And Setbacks In Order To Become Stronger?


We all know that feeling. We work hard on something, put our heart and soul into it, and then somebody comes along and criticizes it. It can be tough to deal with such criticism, but the Bible has a lot to say about how we should respond.

Top Bible Verses About Strength

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the Bible’s teachings on how to deal with criticism. We’ll also explore some of the benefits of responding to setbacks in a biblical way. By following the Bible’s teachings on this subject, we can become stronger and more resilient in the face of adversity.


The Bible on Rejecting Criticism

The Bible is clear on the subject of rejecting criticism. “Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by two or three witnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:19) In other words, don’t believe everything you hear. There should be tangible evidence to back up any claims of wrongdoing.

This is important because it keeps us from being discouraged by the negative things people say about us. When we know that those accusations aren’t true, we can maintain our focus and keep moving forward.

The Bible on Viewing Setbacks as Opportunities

Think about it: what if God never allowed any of us to experience setbacks? We would never become stronger. We would never learn how to pick ourselves up after we fall. We would never become better people. In fact, without setbacks, we would never grow closer to God.

That’s why the Bible tells us that we should view our setbacks as opportunities. Psalm 138:7 says, “Though I walk in the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” When we go through hard times, we can find comfort in knowing that God is with us. He is our shield and our protector.

In addition, James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” This tells us that when we face trials and setbacks, we should be joyful! Why? Because it means that our faith is being tested and that we are growing closer to God.

The Bible on Getting Back Up After Failure

The Bible is full of wisdom when it comes to recovering from setbacks and criticism.

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In 1 Corinthians 4:12-13, Paul says: “We are not commending ourselves to you but appealing to you as parents—be kind to your children, and hearten them up. When they are criticized, we encourage them and say that the criticisms are true and that God will help them do better.”

This is great advice for anyone who has been criticized. It’s natural to feel embarrassed, ashamed or discouraged after being criticized. But Paul’s words remind us that the criticisms are usually true—we could have done better. And instead of giving up, we should use criticism as motivation to do better next time.

In addition, the Bible teaches us that failure is not the end of the story. In 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, Paul says: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

This verse reminds us that setbacks and failures are a normal part of life. We will be hard-pressed, perplexed, and persecuted at times, but we should never give up. We may be struck down by our enemies, but we will never be destroyed.

The Bible on Adjusting Our Thinking During Difficult Times

The Bible reminds us that trials, challenges, and criticism come in different shapes and sizes. And if we want to become strong during difficult times, we need to adjust our thinking and be prepared to act wisely. In the book of James, it states: “Count it all joy when you fall into various trails…” (James 1:2).

The apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5:3-4 that “we rejoice in our sufferings…that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” Through hardship, we can learn resilience and grow stronger.

In Ecclesiastes 7:14-17, Solomon talks about wisdom during hard times. He says that it is better to be patient and wise than angry or resentful—and that adversity leads to maturity when faced with grace and humility. When faced with hardship, these verses remind us not to give into a victim mentality but have hope that perseveres through faith.

The Bible on Seeking Wisdom in Troubling Times

When faced with criticism and setbacks, the Bible has many wise pieces of advice. First and foremost, it encourages us to seek wisdom in tough times. Proverbs 17:27 says, “the discerning heart seeks knowledge.” In other words, instead of getting stuck in our own heads, we should be searching for wisdom from others who may have been through similar situations.

The Bible also urges us to be patient as we work through our difficulties. James 1:19 tells us to be “slow to anger” no matter what the circumstances are. This means being mindful of our words and actions and having an attitude of humility when dealing with criticism or setbacks.

Finally, the Bible encourages us to turn our pain into something beautiful by focusing on the good. Philippians 4:8 calls us to “think on these things” when faced with negative thoughts or emotions – virtues that are true and right and noble, such as kindness, joy, peace, patience, thankfulness, and faithfulness.

Practical Ways to Implement Biblical Wisdom During Criticism and Setbacks

It’s one thing to know what the Bible says, but putting it into practice is a whole different story. So here are some practical ways you can take to implement the biblical wisdom for criticism and setbacks:

  • Take responsibility for your actions. Talk about how you could have handled things differently or what lesson you learned from the experience. Taking responsibility will help you improve and learn from any mistakes so that you don’t make them again.
  • Forgive those who have wronged you. This doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting what happened, but it does mean letting go of any anger toward them and demonstrating grace toward others.
  • Take time for yourself. If someone has hurt you, it’s important to give yourself time to heal and process what happened. Consider taking a break from social media or spending some time in nature to reset your mindset and gain perspective on the situation.
  • Pray for those involved in the situation. Praying is a powerful way to show love even in difficult times, and it can help remind us of our own humanity as well as the power of God’s love and grace.


The Bible is clear: we are to respond to criticism and setbacks by becoming stronger. This can be done by leaning into God’s Word, which will give us the perspective we need to keep going. We can also find strength by relying on the support of others, by forgiving those who have hurt us, and by remembering that our God is with us every step of the way.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.