Monday, February 7, 2011

Understanding and Learning from Correction

I have found that perhaps the truest measure of humility is how someone handles attempts at correction - BOTH correct and incorrect attempts at correction.

To me, the key is the ability to step back and look first for understanding of the criticism. In other words, when I am rebuked I try very hard to ask myself how that rebuke is appropriate - to really spend time considering it, not simply asking shallowly and moving on.

Always, when I am able to take that approach, I learn something that I need to do to be better - something I can improve about myself. This is true even if I reach the conclusion that the original criticism was unfounded.

It's the same approach I try to take whenever I hear someone say something with which I instinctively disagree. When I force myself to stop and consider what part of the statement (or sermon, lesson, etc.) might be valid and valuable, more often than not I end up learning something as a result.


SilverRain said...

Yeah, the problem comes when you take it and can't find anything of value in the criticism, and descend into despondency because obviously something is deeply wrong with you if you can't even seen clearly enough to find the value in what is said.

Papa D said...

That is a common problem for people with self-esteem issues - and those happen for multiple reasons, including abuse, unfortunately. In those situations, it's really hard to break the cycle and learn not to end up in that situation - but it's an effort that certainly is worth making, and it often requires removing one's self from the abusive relationship.

That also is a very difficult thing to do. My heart goes out to people in that situation.

Anonymous said...

I think it also takes a great deal of personal power not to be hurt by something which is said with the intention to hurt.Sometimes it is the intent which is painful.Whilst I see your point,sometimes people are insulting and abusive,and withdrawing is the least contentious thing to do.Sometimes we just need to shelter our souls from damage.

This can be particularly challenging when the individual concerned actually has needs that must be addressed-an errant child or needy elderly person for example.I'd just love to get to the point where it all slides off me.Trying to actually take it in would be poisonous for me.