He who ignores discipline comes to poverty and shame, but whoever heeds correction is honored. Proverbs 13:18 (NIV)
Ouch, that doesn’t sound fun to me. I’m not sure I like the sound of that. I’m not sure that I would welcome that into my life. What might you not want to welcome into your life? I might not want to welcome constructive criticism into my life. Why is that? Criticism of any kind, even if it is constructive, is not pain free. Besides, who gets to decide if criticism is constructive or destructive? How will I know if criticism I am given is valid and constructive? It sounds to me like you may be more than a little resistant to criticism, even if it is constructive, is that true? Yes, that is no doubt true. Why is that? I have been proud. I have been stubborn. I have been resistant. That is not good. Yes, I know it is not good. Tell me why it is not good. I have flaws. I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I take missteps. I sin. I even have blind spots of which I am largely unaware. So, there are plenty of times when I am completely unaware of my own misbehaviors. Yes, all of what you have said is true. Let me ask you a question. You have my full attention. Would you rather be blessed by receiving and acting on constructive criticism or would you rather continue to suffer harm by failing to receive and act on constructive criticism? I see your point. Only a fool would want to continue to suffer harm by failing to receive and act on constructive criticism. That’s true. That’s right.
So, what do you want to do differently now that you understand the importance of receiving and acting on constructive criticism? I want to welcome constructive criticism into my life. I want to give permission to others, who love and care for me, to give me constructive criticism. I will make sure I am sending out signals to others that I am ready and willing and able to receive constructive criticism. I will not be defensive. I will not be stubborn. I will not be resistant. That’s good. What else will you do with constructive criticism? I will bring it to you. I will make it a matter of prayer. I will ask you to show me the course corrections I need to make. I will allow you to mold and shape my life with the constructive criticism that comes my way. I will allow you to bless my life as I make the course corrections you are directing me to make. I will also ask you to protect me from criticism that is not constructive, is invalid and is in fact destructive. I will trust you to help me to discern the difference between constructive and destructive criticism. This will all be very good. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I know I have blind spots. I have flaws within me that I cannot see by myself. I will welcome constructive criticism into my life. I will not be defensive. I will not be stubborn and unresponsive. I will take action and make course corrections I need to make. Amen
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