If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise.
Proverbs 15:31 NLT
Have you ever watched little birds being shoved out of the nest when they are ready to go out on their own? Now of course the chicks do not agree. It is comfy hanging around waiting for mom to bring them food. But uncomfortable as it is for them, their mother knows that for their own safety they need to learn to fly. In the same way God sometimes uses criticism that others are leveling at us to nudge us constructively out of our nests. For me usually my first reaction to opposition is to lash back at the people offer correction. But the Bible says that ” All things work together for good for those who love God.” If we would just add to that list of all things, the critical things people say, we might discover that our greatest detractors can become the ones who help us the most.
Criticism stings because we feel the pressure for perfection. Notice the avalanche of commentary on Simone Biles for withdrawing from some of the Olympic events. The fear of even the slightest deviation from her past magnificent performance loaded such a weight of pressure on her mind that she couldn’t concentrate and that fear endangered not only her winning a medal but her physical safety as well. Even though most of us will never be Olympians we can learn the same thing. The secret of growing as a person, especially in our relationship to Christ is accepting that we are not perfect. In fact it is perfectly normal to be imperfect. It is not surprising if we fail and even stumble and fall now and then. Remember God created us to be eagles and not porcupines. So instead of bristling like a porcupine under attack, we need to just flap our awkward wings. Remember even a few feet off the ground is enough to keep us safe from the cat and that God will teach us to fly effortlessly when we stop being afraid of falling!