What would the world be like if there were less destructive criticism? Much of what causes people to fear others would disappear.
That destructive criticism is a falsehood about the person being criticized is often pretty apparent. Rarely is criticism that’s motivated by envy or hate reasonable or accurate. But perhaps more important, such criticism is also a falsehood about the person doing the criticizing.
Further study of Christian Science explains why this is so. God made man in the image of Himself, divine Love (see Gen. 1:26, I John 4:16). Actually, the loving child of God could never be prompted by jealousy, fear, or anger to see his or her brothers and sisters in anything less than the light of love. Therefore any appearance of a person indulging in destructive criticism must be a falsehood about God’s creation.
To understand and hold to this fact can bring healing. As Mrs. Eddy wrote: “Holding the right idea of man in my mind, I can improve my own, and other people’s individuality, health, and morals; whereas, the opposite image of man, a sinner, kept constantly in mind, can no more improve health or morals, than holding in thought the form of a boa-constrictor can aid an artist in painting a landscape” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883-1896, p. 62).
This lesson is illustrated in the book of Genesis (Chaps. 37-45) in the story of Joseph. Because Joseph was his father’s favored son, his older brothers’ critical, envious attitude toward him turned to hate, and they arranged to leave Joseph in a pit, eventually selling him into slavery. But Joseph didn’t respond with revenge, and his predicament led to circumstances that ultimately helped him, his fellow countrymen, and even the brothers themselves. Joseph’s response to the criticism and hate directed at him proved the destructive attitudes to be false and powerless. This response healed the entire situation.