Well it is one of my least favorite times of the year as a “boss.” It is review time. Every year I approach this time with a spirit of uncertainty. Naturally, when you work with people day in and day out you see their imperfections. Not only do you see these things, but if you take your role as boss (and as pastor) seriously you want to help those under your leadership improve at what they do.
The issue is how does one take ones observations, insights, and opinions and use them to the betterment of someone else. One of the crucial issues with doing this well is realizing that you have an opinion. Some times in reviews we have some hard data. Goals and objectives not met, but most often our reason for why that is true is based on our opinion.
So how do we correctly take these thoughts to another person for their good. It is not just about professional reviews. I think this is an overall spiritual issue people need to consider. Often in life we have people who want to bring us their “constructive criticism” but the issue is that it is often destructive more than it is constructive. This is true of those with a good-heart and those with a critical spirit.
I have taken some time to study this concept over the last few months and want to share with you what I have learned about the concept of criticism. These blogs will not simply be about review process but about the overall concept of criticism in the life of Christ followers.
The first question you must answer as a follower of Christ is this…is there any place in the lives of Christians for criticism?
Take some time and examine what it is. Consider this challenge. We call it “constructive” criticism. You must realize that even in its best form constructive describes criticism. Is that a Biblical mindset or approach to other people?
Let’s start with this thought. What is criticism? According to Webster, criticism can be defined as the act of criticizing usually unfavorably. At its best criticizing is to consider the merits and demerits of and to judge accordingly. Criticizing is also defined as (and normally acted as) finding fault with or pointing out the faults of.
I want to challenge you in a couple of blogs over our concepts about criticism. And I want you to honestly ask yourself, how much construction comes out of my criticisms?
I will leave you with this verse to chew on today as you consider the Biblical truths concerning criticism. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Eph 4:29)
(This is the first in a 3 part series. I have really thought through this a lot this year and read and prayed. I hope I can share some things God taught me and help you be a better leader through it.)