Correction. It can be ugly. Our instincts kick in and our natural tendency is to attack. Teeth bared and claws fully exposed we tear into the individual who had the audacity to correct us. We often miss the message because we’re caught up in the tone of delivery or the status of the messenger.
I can be very defensive. I have gotten better, but I have my moments. I’m particularly sensitive about my children. I remember their dad asking if I had made sure to put on their coat and hat because it was so cold outside. But, I did not hear that. I heard, “You’re a bad mom. You’re always rushing so you probably forgot. I don’t trust you to take care of the kids.” But, he had not said ANY OF THAT. I allowed my personal insecurities to distort his question and then I held him responsible for my over-active imagination by responding harshly.
Truth is…some days I do feel like a bad mom, some days I do rush too much, some days I forget important stuff, and some days I wonder why God trusted ME with these two precious little people.
“A man who remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy.”— Proverbs 29:1
The need to become defensive is often an indication that there’s some truth hidden in the statement. If it’s not true, disregard it—don’t get ignorant or irritated. Smile and keep it moving. If the critique is justified—learn from it. CHECK YOURSELF. If your first inclination is to get mad then you have stumbled upon an area of weakness and possible insecurity in your life. This is wonderful! This acknowledgement of weakness and a willingness to accept responsibility empowers you to seek prayer in this area and actively work towards change. Every time you refuse to acknowledge the wisdom that resides in a critique you are choosing to stunt your own growth.
So, today ask yourself…why are you getting in the way? God uses everything—the nice, the bad, the ugly, the mean, and the malicious. Get beyond the perceived intent of the messenger and be willing to acknowledge that glimmer of truth that could serve as the greatest catalyst towards personal growth. The next time that someone “tells you about yourself” don’t immediately reject it. Evaluate the critique. What needs to be addressed—a character flaw, moral weakness, an outdated belief system, or a personal insecurity? Ask God is HE trying to tell you something. He may have deemed you fit and ready for advancement. Don’t let your pride make you miss out on your next assignment. Don’t allow your pride to ruin a relationship.
[photo: Shannon Lee Miller]
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."