Psalm 141 Easy-to-Read Version
5 If good people correct me,
I will consider it a good thing.
If they criticize me,
I will accept it like a warm welcome.[a]
How did you grow up? Was your childhood filled with encouragement or criticism, grace or high expectations, etc.
I grew up in a world of criticism and a school system that was all about pushing the girls to be quiet and "good" all the while pushing that to get things wrong meant I was fundamentally wrong and not good enough.
Our American culture indoctrinates most of us to feel deep shame and embarrassment from making mistakes. So few parents and teachers really know how to coach children to be accepting of getting things wrong and to be open to constructive criticism.
Most of us take criticism as a personal attack on our core being--taking it to mean that we are fundamentally flawed and not "good enough". We strive so hard to get things "right" and "perfect" that we play small, we overwork, we over worry, we down play our ideas, or don't even bother to create because embarrassment feels like knives stabbing through us.
There is no quick fix to becoming a person that can warmly welcome constructive criticism. Our pride and ego don't like being uncomfortable. And most of us haven't fully embraced our identity in Christ so solidly that correction of our behavior doesn't necessitate a feeling of "being a bad person".
My friends it takes time to deeply root ourselves in Christ alone. It takes intention in overcoming the core programming to feel embarrassed, shamed, not "good enough" by mistakes.
Let's choose to rise and see that without refinement we simply cannot become all that God wants. We can't and won't play BIG and share BOLDLY without our identity firmly rooted in Christ, His word, and our calling.
We can't be unshaken by other people's opinions of us if we aren't working day by day to know God's word and Spirit.
We won't be a welcome tool in God's kingdom agenda without being open to being uncomfortable and sifting criticisms through the lens of God's truth and the Holy Spirit.
Let's choose each morning to rise more determined to know our identity in Christ. To know God's word better than the pastors and gurus that spit out short quotes and diluted goodness.
Let's choose to affirm out-loud God's truth about who we are in Christ--a beloved royal daughter, forgiven and free, treasured and desired!
Let's choose to reprogram our thoughts about embarrassment, shame, goodness, love, and "enoughness". Because Christ paid to HIGH a price for YOU and ME to not embrace that forgiveness and love in such a way that we throw off the shame and lies of the enemy.
We are more than enough for the calling, love, and refining process that God has planned for each of us.
Please share your strategies for receiving constructive criticism warmly and with grace.
Let's pray: Dear God, thank You for this day. Thank You for removing the veil from our eyes and showing us how Holy You are and how much our entire being, mind, and spirit need Your refining, forgiveness, and love.
Jesus we praise You that by Your sacrifice we can be made right with God and receive the Holy Spirit within us.
Holy Spirit please lead us into a right understanding of our identity. Please show us God's love and word for us today.
We humbly submit ourselves for Your transformation and change. We love You God more than the opinions of others and more than being "right" with the world.
Please lead us into bold obedience. Please help us to embrace transformation and true godly criticism.
Thank You Lord for choosing us, loving us, thinking of us, and allowing us to be a part of Your Kingdom agenda.
Please surround us with hedges of protection and keep us firmly rooted in Your word, will, and way.
In Jesus's name, we pray, Amen.
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Easy-to-Read Version (ERV) Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International