Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)
TITLE: Our Own Worst Critic
By Edmond Ng
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Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD. (Lamentations 3:40 NAS)As a writer for a corporation, my duties encompass many tasks—writing, copywriting, proofreading, editing, and more. Reviewing another person's writing as well as my own is therefore part and parcel of my routine. Nonetheless, I must admit I am not a good critic when it comes to reviewing the written words of others. This is because I dislike offending or hurting another, and certainly do not wish to break the spirit of any aspiring writer. When examining my own writing, however, I spare no room for mistakes, because I am my own worst critic. Reviewing one’s own writing is a good practice, but relying on oneself as the only critic is seldom ideal or good enough. This is because when we review our own writings over and over again, we tend to cloud our minds and create blind spots, which usually can only be seen by another critic.
Like the way we review our own writings, the Bible teaches something similar in principle about living the Christian life. As believers in the Lord, all of us ought to ‘review’ ourselves regularly to examine and probe our ways to ensure we stay the course and remain in the faith (Lamentations 3:40; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Corinthians 13:5). Probing our ways alone however is seldom good enough because we tend not to see our own mistakes. We should therefore open up ourselves to receive constructive critiques from others, especially from those whose purpose is to guide us to the right direction. If, however, we receive critiques that seek to tear down or destroy, we should not take such critiques to heart. Only in this way will we be able take a step forward in our walk with God to grow in spiritual maturity. Likewise, we should do our part in giving constructive critiques to others, to warn and direct them in their walk with God (Matthew 18:15).
When giving critiques, however, let us remember not to be too judgmental in thinking too highly of ourselves as if we are always right or better than the other (Philippians 2:3). For in the way we judge others, we shall also be judged, and if our motive for giving critiques is to destroy and tear down, then by our own standard of measure, we will be measured (Matthew 7:1-2; Luke 6:37).
Help us dear Lord not to be too critical on others to want to destroy or tear down the spirit of one whose heart longs to serve You. Keep our hearts pure Lord to instead desire to encourage, teach and guide others in their walk with You. Remind us Lord to always examine our ways and our motives when giving critiques. Put within our hearts Lord the willingness to receive constructive critiques to improve ourselves that we may take the step forward in our walk with You!
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