Constructive criticism – there’s a place

By Dave Henning / March 1, 2020

“Jesus’ teaching did not preclude the place of constructive criticism.  He simply urged us to follow the proper sequence. . . .  There is a time to speak up.  Before you do, check your motives.  The goal is to help, never to hurt.  Look at yourself before you look down on others.  Rather than put them in their place, put yourself in theirs.”- Max Lucado

“First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”- Matthew 7:5 (NIV)

Max Lucado concludes Chapter 3 of How Happiness Happens as he states that we possess eagle-eye vision when checking out other people.  But, when we examine ourselves, we’re often as blind as moles.

Therefore, Pastor Lucado exhorts, if you desire to change the world, begin with yourself.  Dwight L. Moody, founder of the Moody Bible Institute, stands as one of the most influential Christians in the second half of the nineteenth century.  Yet, Moody was humble, unimpressed with himself, and gracious to others.  In fact, Moody gained fame for saying, “Right now I’m having so much trouble with D. L. Moody that I don’t have time to find fault with that other person.”

Furthermore, Max stresses, it’s wise to acknowledge the relatively small number of major life decision.  Clearly, most details are simply details – small stuff.  Thus, if you choose not to sweat the small stuff, you won’t sweat much at all.  No pet peeve is worth your joy – or anyone else’s!

Finally, Pastor Lucado observes, patience come with a boomerang effect.  Because when we bear with one another, we preserve our joy.  And, we discover new reasons to smile.  So, Max encourages:

“Cut people some slack.  Ease up.  Reduce your number of peeves, and be patient with the people who pet them.  The world, for all its quirky people, is a wonderful place to live.  The sooner we can find the beauty, the happier we will be.”

Today’s question: When you receive constructive criticism, how do you respond?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “A slippery slope = self-promotion”

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Dave Henning

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