I’m going to say something you may very likely not appreciate but please bear with me. See, several years ago I heard a pastor friend of mine say it and I was dumbfounded. Not because of what he said but because he said it boldly. To an entire room filled with people. And he said it from the pulpit. His words were, “There is a bit of truth in every criticism.” Now I understood what he was saying but, in the society in which we live, I was afraid that offenses would run rampant right out the door that day and attendance might drop after those words hit the ears of the congregation. To my knowledge, none of that happened.
I was recently reminded of his statement when I was criticized “with love” for something in my own life by someone close to me. Again, I see clearly the point the pastor was trying to make. The recent situation reminded that often times when we receive criticism we immediately hear the negative connotations and the flaws or shortcomings they contain. And they engulf us like a tidal wave. But if we are honest with ourselves and take a moment to examine a few things pertained to the reproach we may come to the realization that may be a small nugget of truth is lying in there after all.
For example, if someone tells you that your children are disruptive or may want to display better manners to their elders, your first response may be “don’t tell me how to raise my kids” or any number of rebuttals. If someone explains to you in the most loving way, “You may want to watch your tone when you discuss things, people think you are snooty.” You may think people are crazy and don’t know you or that it’s their issue and not yours and dismiss the advice altogether. In truth, if we take any criticism, and approach it with an attitude of sought-after intent and self-examination we may be able to avoid undue repercussions, potentially destroyed relationships and yet still improve ourselves and or situations. I personally strive each day to be a better person than I was the day before. Fortunately, and unfortunately, constructive criticism does help with that. Painful as it may be to receive at times.
So, girl, it’s time to focus on the sparkle. Next time someone offers you a bit of “constructive criticism” try receiving it with a more willing reception. First, attempt to look at the intent of the person giving. More than likely the advice was to simply help and encourage you because they care, not to be mean or hateful. As well, take a close examination of yourself in their mention and see if there is an area you may need to work on a little harder. After all, there probably is a little truth to every criticism, we just need to be receptive enough to receive it, find the truth, accept the disparagement and work toward adjusting the defect. By doing so we save undue stresses and dramas in our lives as well as improve our overall standing.
© c. michelle bryant
Michelle Bryant is an entrepreneur, nationally acclaimed award-winning artist, inspirational speaker, self-published author of five books available at most online retailers, a multi-award winning, published photographer whose work is nationally used for worldwide marketing campaigns and featured on various items including but not limited to apparel. She shines her light and speaks from her heart in an encouraging and transparent manner and offers a message of hope, healing, and victory to any who encounters her or her works. You can check out her multitude of works at: www.divinelyfocused.com.