September 28 / Proverbs 28

honest-criticism

Proverbs 28:23

In the end, people appreciate honest criticism far more than flattery.

As you look back on your life, who is it that has helped sharpen you and mold you into a better person? Chances are it was not the person who always agreed with you and thought everything you did was awesome. It may very well have been someone a little harsher, but who wanted more for you than to let you sit around in complacency.

We don’t ever want to confuse encouragement with flattery. Encouragement is vital for survival in my book. Some who have been a great catalyst for growth for me have been those who did recognize something good in me and celebrated it. That is very hope-giving!

But flattery is quite different. Flattery comes from someone who does not seem to dig as deep or pay careful attention to you. Typically, they want something, whether it be a favor, or perhaps to divert your attention from something they want to hide. And it can be effective, right? Just tell me how awesome I am, and chances are I’ll get fixed on that pretty easily, missing the fact that you may be struggling with something destructive that you’d rather not talk about.

So beware of flattery.

Also, how much of Proverbs is about embracing criticism? It’s ubiquitous. If we can just get over our little selves, and accept criticism in order to improve, we’d grow so immensely in a relatively short period, if you ask me.

I’m working on putting aside that initial prideful reaction, and taking a look at what is being brought to light so that I may grow into more Christlikeness. Tho painful for a minute, it is very good and satisfying to grow as a human being, as a person God made to mature.

In the end, I don’t want flattery as much as I want growth in Christ. The fulfillment of growth toward God far outweighs the light momentary affliction of not feeling perfect.

Is it more important to you to become a stronger, more godly-minded person? Or is it more important to avoid pain and stay feeling good about where you are and where you stay?

how many obstacles to peace we construct for the sake of comfort and conformity.

-Laurence Freeman

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