Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Dealing with Criticism

Generally I tend to think that I am right. If I am not acting idiotically (which I do sometimes), then I would not be doing or saying something if I didn't think I was right. The problem is that I am not always right. I know this because I know that no-one is always right. When I look at other people I can spot their blind spots however, the very definition of a blind spot means that I cannot see my own.
Criticism, rebuke and correction are therefore essential. They can do things which I myself am incapable of doing. It is essential that my life is full of these things as without them I will remain right in my own eyes but wrong in everyone else's. If I am truly reading and engaging with the Bible then criticism, rebuke and correction can come from there. However, often God uses people to do this work and to help us grow in godliness. This unfortunately leads to a few uncomfortable conclusions.
1. I need to repent of my pride and my unwillingness to hear criticism. I tend to respond very badly to criticism even when it is about something completely unimportant. So someone criticises the volume of music or the way I set out chairs or anything completely unimportant like that and I immediately find myself bristling. If I respond so badly to insignificant criticism what chance do I have of God using criticism to change my heart.
2. I need to build relationships in which criticism, rebuke and correction are the norm. It is difficult to build relationships where these things are just part and parcel of them but I need them and so need to invest in relationships so that this can occur. I am rubbish at dealing with this but maybe if it was more normal and natural I would be better?
3. I need to be willing to criticise, rebuke and correct. I need to do this in love but I do need to do it. If I need it then so do other people and to not do it is to not care for the person enough to help them grow. It's one thing to resolve to deal with it better but it seems a much more daunting thing to resolve to be better at doing it. But if we don't we are not helping people to identify and deal with the blind spots they inevitably have.
So I may hate criticism but I need it and need to learn to value it better!

1 comment:

  1. I'll always be willing to criticise you Ben don't worry :-)