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  • Writer's pictureTJC

Constructive Criticism

via TJC

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,

But he who hates correction is stupid

-Proverbs 12:1 (NIV)

The first time I read this Proverb I had to do a double-take, but that’s the beauty of the proverbs. They are direct, blunt if you will, and as Kingdom men we need the basic truth, even if it means we come out on the wrong end of the stupid scale.

The reason I had to do a double take is that this Proverbs equation is out of balance in my life. Like a scientist who balances chemical equations, you inspect to ensure all of the elements are there, and then you move them one at a time to balance the chemical equation. I love discipline, but the correction element is off so the equation is out of balance. More simply put, I hate correction….and I am being stupid about it.

Correction as an adult means feedback about where I have opportunities as a man. It may come in the workplace, my wife or family, friends or acquaintances, and it may not always be delivered in a “constructive” way. In fact, it only feels constructive when I am on the delivering end, not the receiving end. But just because it doesn’t get delivered on a platter that strokes my ego, doesn’t mean that it is inaccurate. Quite the opposite, the correction that is most accurate will sometime feel like the biggest blow to my fragile ego and pride.

There is an annual feedback system at my work and I loathe reading my peer feedback. I hate correction because in those moments I forget that I am fearfully and wonderfully made, I take the correction personally, it stirs up insecurities and defensiveness, and my ears become closed. Think about where you receive correction in your life and how you respond. Take a look at this quote by Timothy Keller and dive into the Daily Battle Order.

“Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws.”

Daily Battle Order

- When was the last time you received correction (feedback) in the workplace or at home…especially correction that was delivered in a manner that might not be constructive?

- How did you respond, did you dismiss it and the person? Did you get defensive or insecure and strike back? Did you hate it and come out on the wrong end of this Proverbs equation?

- Is it possible that if you were embracing how fearfully and wonderfully you are made as a Kingdom man you would have thicker skin for the correction coming in?



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