Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers (Psalm 141:5, NIV).
This week’s I Love the Psalms theme is kindness.
How well do you handle criticism? I confess my first reflex is defensive. How dare so-and-so rebuke me?! But if the truth be told, I have learned far more from my critics than from those who praise me.
Good criticism is corrective. Its intent is not to harm or put someone down. It results in self-examination and improvement. In reality I am a poor judge of my own performance because I have a built-in bias. I can’t see myself. I need to hear from others to improve my game.
Today’s verse from the Psalms reminds us to welcome rebukes as an act of kindness. I am changed for the better when I heed the words of those who call me to a higher level of righteousness, love and service.
Response: LORD God, give me ears to heed the rebukes of others, whether they are offered in love or not. I need the broom of your Spirit to clean the home of my heart. Amen.
Your Turn: How do you respond to criticism? What helps you respond correctly?