Imagine my surprise this morning as I rolled over in the direction of my wall of windows around 6:15 AM, and a little hint of sunshine had peeked through the thin space between the curtains that failed to meet the night before. Because of that small distance, I was able to see the start of something beautiful — sunrise on a Sunday morning.
For some, this may signal a wake-up call. For me, it’s a brand new opportunity to experience God’s goodness and to be better than I was yesterday. It also transports me to a time long ago when I’d see that same sliver of sunshine from my bedroom window as a child, but back then, the sunrise was accompanied by a cockle-doodle-dooing soloist from Cousin Tootsie’s chicken coop behind our house. That rooster was our alarm clock for many years. I used to giggle to myself on those rare occasions when I’d see the sunrise before he did.
This morning I greeted the day with prayer and thanksgiving as always, but today was different. My prayer focus as God’s servant was about using criticism to help me grow. No one truly likes criticism — especially when it doesn’t come from a place of love; but even when it comes from so-called haters, their comments aren’t always inaccurate.
If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. ~Proverbs 15:31-32
Over the years, I’ve learned to take criticism from those who are direct with me, but I struggle to take it from those who can’t face me. I sort of revert to that kid on the playground who says Say it to my face. When I come to my senses though, I know that I can filter out the impurities from their critical messages, and use the rest for my growth.
Today I challenge you to listen to the critics and imagine yourself pouring their words into a sieve. What comes out is meant for your good. What remains in the sieve can be discarded, put in the trash, and placed at the curb on garbage day.
What are some things that you know you need to work on as you continue to grow? Scroll down and join me in the comments. Let’s fellowship and minister to each other. We’re so much better together. <3
I am usually a very patient and understanding person but lately I haven’t been. Frustration mixed in with tiredness have affected me more than I’d like.
When we serve as God’s hands and feet, all we really need to fuel up is rest and sustenance — both tangible and spiritual. <3
Thanks, Michelle! I’m trying to find both kinds of rest.
Great post, Michelle, as always. It’s hard to listen to criticism, but you have to filter it and keep only the words that will help you grow.
Hey Mesca! You’re so right. We all can do better in that regard. 🙂