Are you open to honest criticism? I think, if we’re honest, we’d admit that none of us truly loves criticism…but it is necessary at times. When someone we know, and who knows us well, see something in us that we can’t see…it’s an honor for them to share it with us.
Every time Chris (my husband) gives me an honest criticism, I truly take it to heart. I mull it over and show it to the Lord. I don’t just sweep it away and pretend that I am above reproach…no, I try to let it do its work in my heart.
We can’t see all of our own flaws. We just can’t. We need others to help us see where we need to heal, grow, and mature. We can see in part, but just like it’s hard to see a full picture from close up, it’s hard to see ourselves without being able to look from afar. Our hearts are deceptive. We can fool ourselves into believing that all of our motives are pure, while judging others for the exact same thing.
Recently, I heard a family member complaining about a friend and what that friend had been doing. They spoke of how annoying it was. All along, I was thinking, “You do that exact same thing all the time.” You see, my family member was blind to themselves. We all have blind spots. The only challenge is that many don’t want to be told the truth about those places. They can become angry.
Once God had me speak a truth to someone. He put a real urgency in my heart and told me they were going to explode when I told them what He showed me. So, I spoke it to her and literally watched her explode internally, I even felt the shrapnel in the spirit flying my way. She ceased being my friend. And later got divorced. You see, the message was about her marriage relationship. God was giving her an opportunity to see how a simple thing she was doing, was hindering things, but she allowed her own pride to stop her from listening. Basically, she was having an adult temper tantrum.
I think if we’re honest, we’ve all done this at some point. But even if you have, it’s never too late to change.
Learn to love truth. Jesus is the Spirit of Truth. Cling to Him. Listen to Him. Allow yourself to remain humble enough to hear criticism and take them to Him…then let Him weigh the words and show you whether it’s true or not.
The very essence of Your word is truth; all Your just regulations will stand forever. Psalm 119:160
In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery. Proverbs 28:23
God, reveal to me the truth. Show me any blind spots that I may have in my life. I want to know where my weaknesses are so that I can allow You to transform me. I trust You. Forgive me for any time that I have allowed foolish pride to stand in the way of Truth. Transform me, Lord. I surrender. In Jesus’ name, Amen.