Let a righteous man strike me–that is a kindness; let him rebuke me–that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it. Ps. 141:5

Few people enjoy criticism.  Even constructive criticism can be a challenge to accept. Yet if it is given by a friend, in love, with no agenda other than our best interest, it can be one of the most valuable tools for growth in our life.

The Psalmist writes these words as a testament to the value of such input from a righteous person.  He says not only is it not offensive, but it is an act of love and kindness.  Beyond that, it like an anointing oil. One bestowing dignity.  Not only will it not hurt, but it can heal and refresh.  Wow! What a different attitude to the one we often display in such circumstances.

To view constructive feedback offered in love takes two significant things on our part.

First, you must actually want to grow.  If you aren’t really interested in growing as a person, as a leader, a mom or dad, or boss then these words will be wasted. To benefit you must consider them thoughtfully as an opportunity to grow. You can talk all day long about improvement and forward movement and it won’t matter. Do you want to grow or do you just expect others to grow?

Second, it takes humility. It is difficult to consider the potential benefits of constructive input amid a prideful spirit. Rather, we must see this kind of feedback for what it is and is not.  It is not a personal attack.  It does not degrade you as a person.  It is however, an opportunity to humbly consider how you might apply it to your benefit. Do you have that kind of humility?

Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary.  It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things. – Winston Churchill

Live this week on purpose,
Ron Klopfenstein

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