We want to grow and become better versions of ourselves. But receiving feedback is still hard and very vulnerable. And this becomes even truer when affirmations are our love language. Criticisms cut deep and feel invalidating. But maturity demands we learn to accept the good and the bad of feedback.
Of course, we love it whenever someone tells us we’re doing a good job. But even here sometimes our self-doubt still leaves us skeptical. We might wonder if others are just being nice and not really sincere. Or we might reason with ourselves why we don’t really deserve the praise being given.
And when it comes to criticisms, we might be reluctant to hear anything at all. In our pride, we quickly dismiss the feedback and question the qualifications of others to even judge us accurately. They would have a different opinion if only they knew the full story.
It is true not everyone is a qualified authority to speak into our life. But we all have our blind spots and feedback allows us to learn what it’s like for others to be in relationship with us.
For instance, this might come from work, as we accept feedback from our bosses, clients, and even from those we lead. Likewise, our parents, wife, kids, and friends all provide invaluable feedback for us as well. We have something to learn from each of our relationships.
All the same, accepting feedback doesn’t mean we have to accept others’ verdict on us as final. We filter their feedback through our own standards of faithful living before God.
We’re free to adopt whatever feedback is helpful, while rejecting any that doesn’t match the man God has called us to be.
This requires a humble confidence – not so prideful to reject all feedback, but also courageous enough to stand firm in the unique strength and calling God has given us.
In the end, learn to humbly accept feedback in its many different forms. This is often our path toward greater maturity, faith, and service.