So to wrap up this series of blogs, I decided I will tackle the obstacles that prevent us from the wholesome insights, helpful conversations, and critical construction that God intends us to have in each other’s lives. I hope you understand that in these blogs, I have not said do not share your insights. The Bible says “as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” We have to be willing to hit up against each other some to become the people God intended us to be.
So I want to share two lists. One is for the person that is trying to critically construct in another person’s life. The second is to the person that is being constructed on.
Hindrances from Helping others grow…
- It is hard to construct what you have no clue about.
– Don’t consider yourself an expert because you have an opinion.
– Don’t try to become an expert because you have an opinion.
- It is impossible to construct where there is no foundation.
– Don’t try to build on someone’s life what they don’t have the foundation to hold up.
– If a person is simply not qualified or capable of a job or a position, your criticism will never change that. Either help them find something else to do or let them go.
– In the spiritual life, do not put standards on people that don’t know the Savior. They cannot live up to them.
- Most construction needs a plan.
– Don’t just react. Take some time. It is not as big an emergency as you are making it out to be. Stop and really think through what you need to say.
- Don’t cast your own shadow on God’s work space.
– It is not about you. So get your personal agendas, desires, and goals out of the way.
Hindrances from being Helped to grow…
- Don’t think of yourself as perfect.
– I mean come on…do you really think you are doing everything the best way possible all the time?
– Be willing to listen to imperfect people…remember you are imperfect, too.
- Don’t defend yourself.
– If what you are doing is right or is from God…it will defend itself.
– Not defending allows you to hear what they are saying instead of only thinking about what you already thought.
- Put your “big boy” pants on.
– The longer you lead the more you will have to deal with criticism from people who stink at it. Many of them have decent intentions but they are just not as spiritually mature as they think they are. They simply fail to see past themselves when they share their insights.
– So, what do you do? You listen and you learn.
– Allow yourself to learn from God even when the people that he is using are imperfect.
- Sift, save, and throw away.
– Sift through a review or a critical conversation. Sift looking for the GOOD not the bad.
– Save the good stuff. Save the truth – even if it hurts.
– Throw away the rest and don’t hold it against the person – even if they did a poor job sharing it.
- Acknowledge your own personality.
– If you are a more sensitive personality, then be honest about that with yourself.
– Don’t hold others to an unrealistic expectation of pampering your feelings. Especially a boss. They have to review you. It is a part of their job. Let them do their job.
So this wraps this up. I hope it is helpful. I know many of you have to face reviewing others and being called upon to help build others up. Remember the catch words in these processes. Improvement and Progress are the most common words. So improve and help people progress. Allow others the right to do that in your life, too. This role is one I have dreaded and wanted to do at the same time. This year God has simply brought me to a more wholesome place with these processes and responsibilities. I look forward to sharing insights with those I lead this year. I know that God has a plan in that for me and for them.
As Christians, remember, that criticism is not Biblical, construction is. Don’t go out and make your opinion heard, go out and help God’s truth be used to build up his people.