Posted: Tuesday, April 21
Verse of the day:
If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored. (Proverbs 13:18)
I have often wondered if any criticism can be the kind that builds up. I would dare say that most of us don’t like to hear any negative feedback when it comes to our performance, personality, or our lives in general. We would rather live in the illusion that everything is going well.
Most of us could learn how to be better managers of the criticism that comes our way. Now I am not suggesting that we listen to every voice that would speak out against us. What we should have are some key voices in our lives that carry more weight than others. A key friend, a manager or boss, our spouse or parent, or any person that we give the right to help edit our lives can be a powerful force for change. Over time we can grow blind to significant shortcomings in our lives. We need people that are close enough to us that their words matter and that are close enough to us to understand the tone and type of words that will motivate us. We need people that will speak life. We need people that will offer correction that will be received.
Have you ever received criticism from two different people that said the same thing, but brought out a different response? A sibling can point out our shortfalls and it sets us off in a fit of anger. A close friend can say the same words but they are receive with graciousness. What is the difference? Usually the difference is us. How we respond to correction is usually a response to the source of correction, not the correction itself. We pick up an offense for the person, because we know the truth of their word, we just done think they should have been the one to say them.
Next time you feel a strong emotional response toward correction, be sure to try and understand if you are chafing at the rebuke or the person giving the rebuke. If it is a valid point, then make sure you set aside the offense. Address the valid points and try and cultivate the change that is needed. When you do not take up offense to the person offering the correction, you will find yourself having a better attitude towards that person. Instead of being disgraced before them, you will be on your way to being honorable.