I haven’t written in a while, partly because I have been thinking about what to say in this post. (Although, I have been consistently blogging for Grace Community Church!) Recently I had an occasion to think about how I respond to criticism. Yes, criticism. The critics. Those people who tell you where you goofed, what you need to fix – you know the types.
I can’t deny, I take criticism personally. My initial impulse is to personalize anything people say about me. One reason I take things to heart could be because I wholly invest in my work. It’s hard for me to separate myself from my pursuits.
Another reason I discovered as to why I take critics so personally was far less flattering but, to be honest, probably far more telling.
If you know me at all, you’ll know I’m an extrovert! People make me tick and I care about what they think. Hidden in that seemingly harmless statement is a truth that is difficult, but necessary, for me to realize. Though I do care about the thoughts and opinions of others, what’s more sinister is that I care what they think about ME. When it comes down to it, I am guilty of counting ‘me’ as more important than the ‘we’.
I write this confession in an effort to be honest. I’m not a perfect person! I need to have my sins addressed, to have my salvation worked out with fear and trembling. Despite how jacked up I am, I am able to abide in the joy that my God loves me because of Jesus’ perfect work – not my own. If there *were* one person to impress, it would be the King of the Universe. Yet, to Him my attempts to impress look like
garbage. The Lord is impressed with His son on a cross. The Lord is impressed with salvation I couldn’t work up, but that was imparted to me,
To think back to those critics, I truly have experienced the most growth in areas which have undergone the most criticism. Their feedback has improved me as a student, employee, or what ever.
Even so, I need to be more concerned with how God perceives me. His is the one opinion that means most. What is beautiful in my relationship with the Father is that even when I do mess up, the Lord is not my critic but my Savior.