“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 NLT)
What is the difference between being harshly critical of someone or things and being able to offer constructive criticism?
There are many people who are harshly critical of other people–they are the “fruit inspectors” who are always seeking flaws and shortcomings in others, but are never able to see their own faults. They are quick to misjudge a situation or a person because their eyes only see what their soul sees–negativity. Their objective is to tear down people or to break them.
Those who are capable of offering constructive criticism only see what is wrong after careful evaluation and attempt to help correct what they see can be better. They see the possibilities and offer the means for the possibilities to become realities. They see areas that need improvement and provide direction to accomplish. Their objective is to build a person to make them stronger and better.
Many people are not able to receive constructive criticism because they have only heard critical harshness. However, for those who do listen to constructive criticism–they grow as they go, empowered to take a reflective look at themselves and make the necessary adjustments and will always find themselves in the midst of wise people.
The unwise are not so. They will not listen to wise counsel and they hate being corrected. They only see things their way and another–wiser person–they will not hear. Life for them is always an uphill struggle because their hearts have been hardened by the harshness of those who sought to criticize every thing they ever did. Their lives are not disciplined and chaos reigns where order should reside. They reject what others have to say and are adamant in their stance. They think they are capable of teaching others when they have not learned what is needed to teach whatever it is–that someone else needs to be taught. They are close-minded, but are often critical of others–projecting what they have been told about themselves onto the unsuspecting masses who venture onto their pathway.
Wise people are always willing to hear what others have to say, assess what was said for its worth, and make necessary changes in order to accomplish a goal. These are the same people who know how to offer constructive criticism in order to help others grow and improve in whatever they choose to do. The wise see with spiritual wisdom rather than fleshly dictates and one can see the light that emanates from their soul.
If we are not willing to be corrected–by God or others who only seek to help us become better, we are often left standing in a rut, wondering what happened, as we watch others continue to grow and excel with the plans for their lives.