The subject of criticism constantly comes up in the life of any person attempting to live for God and carry out His plan in life. This is normal for even Jesus Christ was criticized by the religious and irreligious people of His day. Why insist those who walk in His steps should be exempt?
John Gardener wrote:
"Pity the leader who is caught between unloving critics and uncritical lovers."
The Great Blonde stated concerning this, "Larry, when you have "uncritical lovers", those who love you but fear to question one of your decisions or to offer their opinion without fear of reprisal are opening you up to even more severe criticism from those who do not love you and want to see you fail." I wonder if this was offered to lay the ground work for some "wifely advice?" The fact is she told me the truth.
In my youth Mel Masonheimer was the football coach of our local high school. He was a man's man and taught his players quite a bit about being a man as he knew many of us came from less than ideal family situations. Coach had a way of motivating while criticizing, but I hardly noticed his criticism. One evening during football practice I was playing linebacker against the first team offense. I was courageously attacking, but I wasn't really doing much damage. Coach said, "Hey, Lilly, you are really doing a great job from the enthusiasm perspective, but your mechanics are wrong." He then showed me how to attack while driving off my legs instead of leaving my feet. It wasn't long until I was on the first team as I learned to tackle correctly and to punish those who were attempting to tackle me as I carried the ball. In those days the rules did not permit two platoon teams.
The same principles hold true in all areas of life. Learning to give criticism in a constructive manner is a rare art. Even rarer is the person who will accept and apply it.
Over the years as Tremendous Jones would say "I have been learning" to upon notice of a criticism to ask one pertinent question "Is this correct?" If on the rare occasion the criticism is correct I then ask, "What must be done to correct this?" Since the wife of my youth refuses to be like our Mother Eve in accepting blame from hubby, I have nowhere to place the blame but on yours truly. While this can be humiliating at times, it is over the long haul, very good.
Men and women in our time are so well educated or to be correct, indoctrinated, that they utterly resent any form of criticism. To lash out at the morals or lack of upbringing of the moron who dares to criticize you, is the norm. The only valid response is the question, "Is this criticism correct?" If it is, then you must get a plan designed to correct whatever is being criticized. I assure you that much of the criticism that comes to you will be without merit. But asking the right questions will keep you in practice!
Unloving critics may be your best asset and uncritical lovers, (yes men) your worst liability.
Larry Lilly Copyright (C) 2007 Use with credit.
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