Sunday, October 16, 2005

Criticism: How Would You Like It

Happy Camper said:
I completely agree with you.

---I like this person already.

Happy Camper said:
However, I think it would be good to add that this does not give us the right to run around "helping" others by telling them what we think is wrong with their lives. Because I would sure love to do that sometimes to people in my life. Rather, we need to learn how to constructively criticize with love. We need to do it for the good of the other person, and not for our own selfish desires to point out their flaws. I am guilty of this myself.

---I am sure I have done this myself. Happy makes some good points as it relates to giving criticism. My main point before was definately not to go around and beat people down just because criticism can be received well no matter how it is delivered. My point was that as a receiver of any criticism, we need to listen to what the person may be saying regardless of how we feel at the moment (attacked, defensive...) and take it for what it is worth.

I remember a time when a coworker once told me she "didn't think Christians were supposed to act that way." Now, believe it or not, I was probably being obnoxious at the least, a jerk at the worst. I was pissed when she first said that and my comeback (in my mind) was "OH YEAH!".
Yeah, good one, Derrick. Problem was, what hurt the most about it was that she was right. I was acting inappropriately.

Now, it would have been easy for me to give her a bumper sticker answer "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." It would have been true and it would have made me feel better. However, at that time, I would have simply been using that as an excuse for my behavior. We aren't called to be obnoxious for the sake of the Kingdom. We are not called to be offensive. The Gospel is offensive enough. Can we be humans? I sure hope so. Does it give us license to do or say whatever we want? I think to be a good ambassador for Christ, we must be more careful about what we say and do. People are watching for your Christianity to be lived out consistantly and lovingly, (and sometimes offensively.)

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