As I’m sure most people are, I hate being criticized. I have the intrinsic quality of desiring to make people happy. I think most of us do, but if we are honest with ourselves then we all know that it is absolutely impossible to please anybody all of the time (much less everybody even some of the time).
I think the trick here is to have room for critics.
There are, however, conditions. I’m not going to let somebody that has been to one of our experiences and heard me speak a grand total of once make an impact on my demeanor with their unmerited snap judgments. Especially when you factor in that it really doesn’t matter near as much what I say when I’m in front of a crowd than how I live when the crowd is not around. It certainly is frustrating that their criticism is founded in 30 minutes of personal preference as opposed to the other 167 1/2 hours in the week. But that’s the world we live in.
I believe that criticism is essential to growth. That’s why the people that are closest to me have free reign in being honest with me about everything. It’s always done tactfully and respectfully. No slights or knocks. Just the truth. The danger is that if you give people this kind of freedom, they are going to utilize it. Which means you are going to be challenged. You are going to be forced to think things through and know why you do what you do. It can be painful and burdensome, but at the end of the day it’s the best way to live.
It is no easy task blocking out the voices that don’t deserve your time and energy. They will, however, lose their influence as you allow the ones that are closest to you get the best from you. It seems to make sense that Jesus modeled relationships to us in concentric circles. Fewer and fewer got closer and closer. I’m sure their is something to be learned here considering our critics pail in comparison to His.
We have to set aside our egos and pride and allow the people that want the best for us to pull the best out of us. It’s that simple. Simply said, difficultly done.