Reflections from 56, Part 4

Rick Mattson Devotion Leave a Comment

How do you receive criticism?

I’ve received my share of criticism over the years, but to be honest, I’ve probably given even more.

Boxes 1 and 3: I should always be open to constructive feedback that is offered in a caring way. I may not agree with the criticism (box 3), but if I don’t generally welcome this in my life, I’m probably suffering from the sins of pride and “always needing to be right.”

Boxes 2 and 4 are tougher to take, especially box 4. If you’ve ever had someone lash out at you when you were innocent of wrongdoing, you know the wounding that can result from box 4.

The pain can last for years.

A suggestion: Involve your community.
Some time ago a pastor came to me and said, “I’ve just received this hurtful email. What do you think?”
It was a clear case of box 4.
He and I made a plan for how he would respond, then he carried out that plan — with no regrets later.
A vision for growth.
My friend Dan S shared this with me recently:
  • Immaturity is a thin skin and a hard heart. This is the condition of being overly defensive and despising one’s critics.
  • Maturity is a thick skin and a soft heart. This is the condition of being open to feedback and caring for one’s critics.

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