39 And they did admonish their brethren; and they were also admonished, every one by the word of God, according to his sins, or to the sins which he had committed, being commanded of God to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all things.
It is hard to receive criticism without becoming defensive. Our natural response is to reject the feedback, to think of reasons why it is inaccurate or why it doesn’t apply to our unique circumstances, and then to look for people who will validate our position and our rationalizations. Unfortunately, this is a recipe for stunted growth and lost opportunities. Since we cannot progress without understanding what we can do better, we need to seek out corrective feedback and humble ourselves enough to accept it when it is given. This is especially true when the feedback comes from people who love us and have our best interests at heart: family members, church leaders, and true friends.
Consider the following words of wisdom from the Book of Proverbs:
- “A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool” (Proverbs 17:10).
- “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee” (Proverbs 9:8).
- “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord; neither be weary of his correction: For whom the Lord loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth” (Proverbs 3:11-12).
- “Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish” (Proverbs 12:1).
Today, I will be willing to be corrected by those around me. I will recognize the limits of my own objectivity and will accept that I have much to learn from others. I will strive to be wise enough to value corrective feedback, especially when it comes from those who are closest to me.