We Need To Be Open To Constructive Criticism

“I want to give you some constructive criticism.”
Has someone ever told you that? More than likely you’ve heard that before. And, when you hear those words, they can cause you to kind of cringe inside. You may think, “Oh boy, hear it comes… brace yourself… don’t get mad, etc…”
But, constructive criticism can be good. When someone wants to give you constructive criticism, listen to it. None of us are perfect and something this person says could help you a lot.
Proverbs 12:1 says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”
Think about those words… “…he who hates reproof is stupid.” The word “stupid” is a strong word. We are told to never use the word “stupid.” Yet, this verse says that someone who hates correction is stupid.
Why do we cringe or get angry when someone wants to say something to help us? At times, it’s because we are insecure and anything other than encouragement gets to us. Or, maybe you grew up in a home where you heard nothing but criticism and hearing it again causes hurt.
No one is perfect. Everyone of us can learn and grow. John Maxwell has a book entitled, “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn.” The central idea of that book is that we can learn from our mistakes.
So, when someone wants to give you constructive criticism, listen to it. A an older Preacher told me once, “When someone criticizes me, I ask the Lord to help take what I need to hear and learn from it and throw the rest away.” That’s good advice for all of us.
If someone has a word of correction for you, listen to it.
In the movie “The American President,” the President of the US (played by Michael Douglas) begins dating a reporter. A man who is his opponent (played by Richard Dreyfuss) begins criticizing him for this. In one scene, Michael Rothschild (Michael J. Fox) says, “Sir, you have to reply to this man. You have to go on the offensive.”
The President replies, “What has he said that isn’t true? Everything he has said is true.”
His point was, even though this man was his opponent and was saying some tough things, every bit of it was true. He couldn’t attack the man for saying things that were true.
Someone may something to you that hurts… but it’s true. Take what’s true and learn from it.

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