One Surefire Way to Avoid Criticism

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If you’re attracting criticism, it just may be a sign you’re doing something significant.

I got a text from a friend last week. He sent me a picture of his company’s logo and a comment someone had made on the logo online.

My friend is leading a great organization that’s helping thousands of leaders. His ministry is having a significant impact.

The comment was typical ‘hater’ stuff. The commenter questioned my friend’s motives and integrity and even hinted at whether my friend’s faith was genuine.

Even with all the success and affirmation my friend is receiving (deservedly), that random comment hurt.

That’s how it is, right?

A hundred thank you’s and life change stories can vaporize when a single negative comment comes your way.

And even though that kind of feedback is cheap (it takes real guts to post a critical comment on line, doesn’t it?) it’s still hurtful.

Chances are, if you’re a leader, you’ve been on the receiving end of criticism.

You pour dozens of hours (and your heart) into a message just to have someone dismiss it as ‘irrelevant.’

You navigate significant changes in your ministry for the sake of the future and someone says you should be fired.

You challenge the status quo and argue for a better future and you get written off as a dreamer.

How do you avoid criticism like that?

Believe it or not, there actually is a surefire way:

The best way to avoid criticism is to do nothing significant.

So go ahead.

Stop trying to change the world.

Stop trying to make a difference.

Stop believing when everyone else has grown cynical.

Stop investing in the lives of others.

Stop caring when others merely shrug.

Stop devoting your life to a cause bigger than yourself.

Stop fighting for what’s right when others pass by.

Stop caring.

And then people will stop criticizing you.

Devote your life to doing nothing significant. The critics will leave you alone.

But of course, if you do that, you will come to the end of your life and realize you wasted it.

Carey Nieuwhof Carey Nieuwhof is Lead Pastor of Connexus Church north of Toronto, Canada, blogs at and is host of The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast available for free on iTunes.

More from Carey Nieuwhof or visit Carey at

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  • Buck Fleming

    There’s an untold flip side to this issue. I have a friend that so believes that we should be persecuted that he intentionally tries to offend people sometimes. So as leaders, when we receive critism, we must be discerning. The early church had favor with all people, and Paul wrote that he became all things, but what they never waivered on was the truth of the good news. So we must ask our selves, is the way I lead what is offending someone? Is my message what is offending someone? Or is the gospel what is offending? Or is my agenda what is offending people?

    • Jerry Edmonds

      I would say that based on your second sentence that your friend receives criricism because he is a jerk, not because he is honoring Christ. I don’t think that is what this article is about, though it sounds like the next one is. Stay tuned…

  • deandeguara

    “The best way to avoid criticism is to do nothing significant.” So true! Criticism comes in all kinds of different packages for every different kind of leader!


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