A lot of the times, no matter where you live or what era you were born into, criticism will always find its way to your ears. This is because he criticizes her, while she is criticizing them, and all they do is talk about him. But who doesn’t have something to point out? Who amongst us walks on a fine line and is clean? Sparkling white Joe does not exist. The only one that should and can be commended is Jesus.
Returning to our the first sentence, what do you do when criticism catches your ear? Not only criticism of others but the worst yet – criticism of yourself. It can be a stranger on the subway, a friend from college, a co-worker, or even a family member at a reunion. What happens inside you when your short-comings as a person are voiced; brought to light?
- It’s not easy to hear.
Its probably one of the hardest things to hear. When someone says to your face what makes you a “Not so perfect” person. Adding to injury is the fact that most of the times, these conversations happen in a heated moment. Your palms get sweaty, your cheeks flush red, your forehead perspires, your voice gets shaky, and your blood boils. Whether we are angry with each other, or getting fired at work, or stressed on a project and the work group is falling apart, these moments hit us like a bunch of bricks in the face.
- But we do need to hear it.
Not the popular idea or opinion, yes, I know. Now, aside from the heated debate scenario, criticism can be subjective. Just because someone says that you don’t know how to shoot a basketball doesn’t make them an expert. Make sure you take these comments with a grain of salt. But what if no one ever told us what we were doing wrong? What if someone never pointed out a way you can do what you do more efficiently? If we are honest with ourselves, its hard to see what is least useful in our character. Its difficult at times to say, “No, Im wrong here. I need to do this a different way.” You might even say its a blessing to hear this. Or are we waiting for a voice to come from heaven to let us know that there is a different way?
But all this is just a small example of a test. The Bible talks about tests or trials where our person is put through fire. It is, or course, the very minimal of all the of the tests and trials that we can face but then why does it bother us so much? Why is it that we allow those words to shake our faith? This is not to say that we couldn’t use a good slapping around once in a while. Im talking about spiritually even though I know that you are thinking of that one person that could use a slapping around physically too. It doesn’t hurt to heed words of wisdom that scrape against our personality like stone on stone. Do you know what happens to gold after it is dug out of the dirt? It is put through fire so that it can be shinier, more sparkling, more precious, more valuable, more useful gold! But why all of the hassle? Gold is Gold is Gold. Thats because there is a standard and even though you ignore that standard, it doesn’t mean its not there. We have to be careful to ignore those words of wisdom and lose an opportunity to improve; to grow. It would be such a waste if we were always the same son or daughter, dad or mother, or friend. How many times have you promised to react differently, in a better fashion, the next time you are put in “that” situation? We should be improving everyday!!! So why don’t we try?
I wanted to touch on this subject because sooner or later it will happen. There will come a time where enough eyes are on you and the criticism starts. You might even already be there. Not much is needed though. It could be the person that you sleep next too…every…single…night. But don’t let that steal the smile from your face because in all of that, God is watching. He wants to know that you can keep the faith in him regardless of what men can say. You are a work of his in progress but we have to accept that. We have to accept that a work in progress is not perfect and occasionally, just once in a while, someones going to put up a mirror. But you have to find solace in faith, let it Recharge you, go with the flow, keep walking, and show God that you want to be faithful amidst your short-comings.