Criticism and CorrectionBro. David Chancellor
7/4/1999 11:00 AM
A consultant's job is to provide help and counsel in the job hired to do. Sometimes good counsel provides help for the problem. Consultants have to learn to learn from their mistakes. People can make mistakes and then ignore them. They cannot recognize that they made a mistake. As God's people we want to learn from success and failure alike. We don't want to be continually failing.
The body of Christ meets the definition of a team. We want to go forward and see good accomplished. We need to work as a team. Teamwork requires pulling together and contributing something of value. Teams need constructive criticism. Criticism is a gift, because you won't get any better without it. It's something to help us improve. We should each one have the desire to improve and increase in the things of God.
Psalms 139:23, 24
"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts." It's all on the record anyway, but our desire should be that God would search us and set us right. We need to be receptive to the searching. We need his help knowing how to get right. There was a time when God was not pleased with what he saw in David.
2 Samuel 12:5-7
There was sin in the life of David and he was working hard to cover it. The Lord sent Nathan for a reason. If we're covering some things God may have to send someone to tell us "you're the problem." There are things people will overlook or cover. We can't afford to cover sin. We may at times need a "Nathan" to come and show us the problem. David acknowledged the problem and repented and things got better. When criticism comes we need to recognize it was a gift of God and sent for our good. One of the benefits of marriage is constructive criticism (i.e. You need to brush your hair... it looks awful. or... Phew, you stink... go take a bath) Criticism is a gift. There's a benefit to fellowship. The people of Israel were supposed to provide this benefit [criticism] to each other.
Don't hate your brother if he criticizes you. Don't fail to offer constructive criticism to your brother if you feel that he is going to hate you. The Israelites were taught to correct each other for good. Bearing the bad news is what a consultant is paid to do. We may have to have someone look at us and tell us what is wrong. One of David's sons never had anything to displease him and this later nearly cost him his life. A child that is disciplined is disciplined for its own good. Things went well with the Israelites when they corrected each other. From time to time we as God's people are going to need correction if we are going to grow and prosper.
Correction is a kindness. Correction should be done out of love. Be thankful for correction received. We can all benefit from correction. There is good accomplished by reproof. There will be times God will send someone to correct out of kindness. We may be so close to the situation that we can't see the trouble there. If you can take criticism and use it to improve, then you'll be better for the experience. "All things work together for good God can accomplish good out of situations, if we'll just let him work.
Every good and perfect gift is from God. Correction is a gift - someone trying to give you something good. God won't change and if you are out of line, you are out of line. When it comes from God it will be straight, but it is for our good. Because this correction comes from God, be swift to hear; slow to speak, slow to wrath. Correction is not always pleasant and will sometimes hurt. Get the point and act on it. Put it to work in your heart and life. If a quick reply beings to form, go slow. We don't want to buck up against God. He's trying to work a work in us. It won't always be sweet and pleasant. There will be some hard and tough things, but it is for our good. There will be correction, because God loves us.