A friend of mine recently told me that after asking his physician about his hair loss problem the doctor responded with, “You’re not losing your hair, you’re gaining weight and your head is bigger.” My friend’s response was to laugh, but if that were me, I would have been upset with the doctor for putting it so, well…bluntly. I wondered about myself, do I want the truth or do I desire a sugar-coated, let-me-down-easy and convenient near truth? Perhaps a combination of the two would be preferable – you know, a speaking close to the truth in love, because you LOVE me.
Someone else recently shared with me they are “telling it like it is” and that sometimes “the truth hurts.” My response was, “Yea, right, unless it’s you on the receiving end of that not so objective ‘truth.’ ” God bless you for desiring to be truthful, but are you capable of handling it when it comes your way? For me, when that truth comes, all too often, I am thinking of my defensive response rather than listening intently. I am then coming up with why this person is wrong in my mind or making a personal judgment of them in order to cancel out what they are saying. Still, at other times, my rebuttal is to sight all the times of operating in just the opposite way of what they are critiquing. Honestly, when you’re thinking about your response you stop listening.
If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept criticism, you will be honored. If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise. Valid criticism is as treasured by the one who heeds it… In the end, people appreciate frankness more than flattery. (Proverbs 13:18; 15;31 25;12; 28;23 NLT)