The Blessing of Criticism

A 15-year-old memory resurfaced this morning, and I’m glad it was transferred from the cobwebs of my mind back to the forefront.  I need reminded.

I remembered a former pastor’s wife from those years who used to speak regularly to the women of the church, addressing common issues women seem to struggle with.  She once spoke on the topic “Choose to Drop Your Guard,” and in that talk she addressed criticism and how we respond to it.

She admonished us not to tune it out or get defensive about it, as is our knee-jerk reaction, but rather humbly examine the words (not necessarily at that moment) to see if they contained a nugget of truth.  Criticism often does, if we’re willing to look.

Truth, especially if it’s an unpleasant truth about ME, is much easier to receive if it’s spoken gently, sympathetically, and with the most careful choice of well-intentioned words, isn’t it?  But that same truth is STILL TRUTH even if it’s spoken rudely, harshly, or without my personal growth in mind.

She encouraged us to be willing to receive truth about ourselves no matter how it’s delivered to us.  And it’s not always wrapped up in a pretty package, is it?

Truth will help us learn and grow, so carefully examine any critical words for truth, and receive that truth with humility and grace, realizing that criticism can be a blessing in disguise.

And just for the record, I could have entitled this post “Note to Self,” since it truly is.  Now to work on the implementation . . .