While being reviled, He [Jesus] did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously (1 Peter 2:23).
When you are critical of yourself, you should not be defensive for two reasons.
First of all, if you are at fault, then you cannot defend yourself. You would be lying at worst if you put up a defensive response when you are criticized for saying or doing something that’s out of order or wrong. Rather than being defensive, simply say, “You’re right; I’ve done wrong,” then improve your conduct and character.
Furthermore, if you are right, then you don’t have to defend yourself. Peter encouraged us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus who “while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Peter 2:23). You do not have to defend yourself if you are in the right. As a result of knowledge of who you are and what you have done, the Righteous Judge will exonerate you.
My dear friend walked into my office with a well-thought-out list of ‘things for me’ and ‘things against me’. We began by talking about what she had for me first. That didn’t take long! While she was recounting the allegations against me, the fleshy part of me wanted to address them all. But I didn’t. Following that, there was a moment of awkward silence before I said, “I’m sure it took courage to share that with me. How can I help?” She started to cry. Nobody is strong enough to tear down another without being able to judge them. Those who are judgmental are in pain. The moment you learn not to be defensive when someone exposes your character defects or makes a criticism of your work, there’s a chance you can reach out to that person and minister.
Lord, give me the courage not to react defensively. You are the only defense I need, and I entrust myself to You, who judges righteously.