Friday, May 18, 2007

Constructive Criticism

Mmm...don't those words just warm your soul? Aren't you just jumping at the chance to receive it? I mean, if you think about it, we should be, right? It's an opportunity of a lifetime - to receive information for our benefit and betterment. I know you're all thinking this with me...

Bring. It. On.

Okay. Maybe not everybody. Maybe not, and especially not, me.

You see, I'm like that man in Matthew 25. No, not the one with 5 talents, nor the one with 2. I'm more like the one with one talent. The Lord graciously entrusts a gift to me - it's a gift I don't deserve in any way, shape or form. Yet despite my unworthy state, He gives me the chance to use it to glorify Him.

However, I get out into the world and start noticing that my measly talent is nothing compared to others. People come up to me and say, "Wow. Have you seen such-and-such's talent? It's so bright and shiny! She totally needs to put that in a case and display it for everyone's enjoyment."

Glancing down at my small, dull coin and quickly tucking into my pocket, I stammer, "Yeah. Sure. I'm mean, she's awesome!"

Secretly I'm thinking, Whew. I will never let anyone see my talent who's seen hers. It just doesn't compare.

Then I begin plotting what I will do with my talent. There's no way I can risk investing it. People might see that it's lacking and needs improvement. I don't think I could take the criticism - even if it is constructive.

I conclude to find a field in the middle of nowhere and bury it. Deep. I'll still "have" it. I just won't let anyone know. That way, when God asks me for it, I can give it back to Him - in the same state He gave it to me. Except, a little bit dirtier.

But a voice deep inside whispers, "Oh my daughter. Don't you see? You have been lazy and so full of your own pride. Be faithful with that small, dull coin. Dig it out. Dust the dirt off. Take it out of your pocket. Put it on display where I have placed you. Risk. Risk the pain of disappointment. Risk loss. Risk the criticism. And grow. Bloom. For Me and My glory. Be faithful over a little and I will give you much. Most importantly, grow and bloom in My joy!"

So maybe my whole being doesn't long for constructive criticism. I don't run around looking for it. I don't embrace it with joy.

But, perhaps I should. Perhaps I am missing out on an opportunity to receive the greatest blessing, the most amazing talent - more of Him.

9 comments:

Amanda said...

I know exactly what you are saying. Sometimes I feel that way, but I try to blame it on events happening in my life. Like, oh, well, this is happening here, and that there, so the timing is off, and God's timing is perfect so it just might not be right now...I better just keep this little talent inside. Well, God's timing is perfect, but Amanda's swatch of God's timing might be a tad skewed (smile) I loved this post. Thanks for sharing :)

Paul James said...

I still find myself constantly comparing my gifts with those of others, operating out of fear instead of trusting in Him. But God is faithful to remind me (some times in Blog form) of what an honor it is to be trusted with the gifts of a King! A very encouraging post!

Andrea Bowman said...

Hey Lauren...
Thanks for posting...I deifnately need to hear this on a daily basis. I would much rather sit in my pride and not have anyone tell me anything that has to do with criticism, but I definately need it and should accept it willingly instead of being so defensive. So thanks for the reminder!

chavon said...

nicely put, my love.

maury jo photography said...

I'd be interested to know what your "dusty coin of talent" looks like. Of course you know me, Lauren, full of questions, but soooo can relate and am continually challenged to lay "it" down for the sake of more of him.... well put sweet one!

Kent said...

This is really encouraging. Thank you for sharing what He is so graciously teaching you.

chavon said...

hey look at my newest blog.... trust me. it will be worth it.

Finally an Abrigg..... said...

excellent picture!

Chilton Family said...

mmmm...love your heart and love your talent...please don't hide it under a bushel NO...you're gonna let it shine!! Okay I've lost it...but as you wish I posted another blog for you my love...is that what you call it? haha!! LOVE YOU!!