I have really been doing lots of soul searching on the subject of criticism. I have just not been the best recipient of criticism, whatever the source might be. My first response is usually to defend myself to whatever degree I think necessary. I never was on a debating team in high school or college but I am a pretty good debater. And I must admit I have been accused a pushing the debate to excesses at times. I even feel proud of myself when I “win” the debate or at least I win in my perspective.
But there is a whole nother side of me when it comes to criticism. That is the avoidance issue. Because I dislike criticism so much I tend to do things that lessen the chance of it. Do you know what I mean? I bet you never do that.
As I have thought about and prepared to address the criticism issue in our Sunday gathering a question has come to mind that I have been “pondering” all week. Here’s what I’m talking about. I am an A type personality who lives by lists and the drive to get things done. And I have been accused of being a perfectionist (Is that criticism or a compliment?) even though I don’t agree with the assessment. Do you want to debate the issue?
I do like to do things right and get impatient with people who don’t feel about and approach responsibilities the same way. But I think my perfectionism has its limits.
But here’s my soul searching that I have been doing this week. Is it possible that my personal obsession to do things right is a means of avoiding or heading off criticism? If I do things with excellence there will be less imperfection to criticize. Does that make sense?
I would hope that my desire to do things with excellence is motivated by a love for Jesus and a passion to give Him my very best. But I wonder at times if the avoidance of criticism might work its way into the picture at times. What do you think?
Which brings up this question, what do you do to avoid criticism? Or how do you handle it when it comes your way?