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Living In Glass Houses

Criticism Golden Rule

Source: Words To Live By

Link to Source: Click here to view source

Contributed By: Neal Pollard | Date Posted: 2019-09-15

Scripture: Matthew 7:12

Author: Charles Panati


"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones." Lexicographers have traced the proverb back to Geoffrey Chaucer's poem Troilus and Criseyde (c. 1385), written when glass windows were extremely rare. Most windows, depicting biblical scenes in "stained glass," were found in churches.

Based on a Greek legend, the 8,239-line poem is the tragic love story of Troilus, son of the Trajan King Priam, and Criseyde, the widowed daughter of the deserter priest Calchas. Tolerance and sympathy are major themes of the tale, for many people want to keep the lovers apart--and in the end succeed (p. 210). 


At some point, the saying came to mean that those who are vulnerable should not attack others (ibid.). Truly, in the broadest sense, the fact we are all sinners should keep us from hypercriticism with the faults of others (Romans 3:23).

But, a proper sense of our own faults, in marriage, childrearing, and Christian living, should cause a humility that addresses the faults of others not with stones but with prayer and compassion, "considering ourselves lest we also become tempted" (Galatians. 6:1). 


Criticism Perseverance Discouragement

Source: Excerpted from Come Before Winter and Share My Hope By Charles R. Swindoll

Contributed By: Paul Sana | Date Posted: 2014-08-28

Scripture: Nehemiah 2:192 ; Nehemiah 2:4

Author: Theodore Roosevelt


I appreciate the remarks made by the fiery president of a past generation, Theodore Roosevelt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; who does actually try to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat.

To those words I add a resounding amen.


Looking for a role model on how to handle criticism? It would be worth your while to check out the book of Nehemiah. On several occasions this great-hearted statesman was openly criticized, falsely accused, and grossly misunderstood. Each time he kept his cool . . . he rolled with the punch . . . he considered the source . . . he refused to get discouraged . . . he went to God in prayer . . . he kept building the wall.

One of the occupational hazards of being a leader is receiving criticism (not all of it constructive, by the way). In the face of that kind of heat, there’s a strong temptation to “go under,” “throw in the towel,” “bail out.” Many have faded out of leadership because of intense criticism. I firmly believe that the leader who does anything that is different or worthwhile or visionary can count on criticism.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).

Shattered Mirrors

Criticism Patience Friendship

Source: DAILY GUIDEPOSTS, February 1998, p. 57

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2014-08-14

Scripture: Matthew 23:24

Author: Karen Barber


“Hank seemed to bring my critical nature to full bloom. He headed a charity where I did volunteer work, and Hank’s chronic disorganization drove me crazy. One day when He again failed to return my call, I decided the best thing to do was to quit.

“That Saturday I found an ornate, antique mirror at a garage sale. …The mirror was hazy, so I decided to have a new mirror cut to fit the vintage frame. When I unwrapped the new mirror, I was disappointed fo find that it wasn’t flawless. My eye kept returning to an eighth-of-an inch scratch … in the glass. ‘This will never do,’ I decided. I rewrapped it and promptly returned it.
“While I stood awaiting my refund at the glass shop, a worker carried the mirror back to the workshop. Suddenly, I heard a loud crash, followed by the tinkling sound of shattering glass. ‘How awful!’ I said to the clerk. ‘It sounds like they had an accident back there.’
“’Oh, no,’ she answered, ‘that’s what we do with all returned pieces.’
“’Oh,’ I said meekly. I suddenly recalled the three feet of perfectly serviceable mirror, not the minute scrath. If I’d known they were going to smash the whole thing, I  wouldn’t have been so picky, I thought.”
Karen Barber, contributor, DAILY GUIDEPOSTS


Karen concluded: “Would I want to be treated that way for some small fault? When I got home, I called Hank. Not returning phone calls wasn’t such a big deal after all. Certainly not enough to shatter a friendship.

"Father, I prayed, please keep me from turning minor irritations into major forces of destruction.”
Jesus said, “You strain a fly out of your drink, but swallow a camel!” (Matthew 23:24, GNB).

A Frozen Little Bird in a Pile of Manure

Deceived/Deception Criticism Humor

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2014-02-19

Scripture: Proverbs 29:5

Author: Unknown

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The 5:1 Formula for A Happy Marriage

Marriage Gratitude Criticism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-11-16

Scripture: Philippians 4:8

Author: Drs. Blair and Rita Justice

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Low-grade Envy

Envy Criticism Judging

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-05-10

Scripture: Matthew 7:1 ; Romans 14:10

Author: unknown

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Take His Shoes and Run

Criticism Hypocrisy Humor

Contributed By: Barnett Gushin | Date Posted: 2012-03-14

Scripture: Proverbs 11:2

Author: unknown

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The "Stand On Your Head" Method

Evangelism Zeal Criticism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2012-01-25

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 9:29

Author: William Booth

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Prelude To Depression

Criticism Marriage Depression

Contributed By: Ron Henson | Date Posted: 2012-01-09

Scripture: Matthew 7:3

Author: Ron Henson

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Real Men

Fatherhood Encouragement Criticism

Contributed By: Illustration Exchange | Date Posted: 2011-06-15

Scripture: Ephesians 6:4

Author: Illustration Exchange

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