Proverbs 13:18 “If you ignore criticism, you will end in poverty and disgrace; if you accept correction, you will be honored.”

No one likes criticism. It challenges our ego-inflated sense of self-importance. And while it is not all valid, the wise look for the seed of truth in criticism, and use it to fuel their quest to get better and do better.

A coach tells a pole vaulter to clean up their approach to the bar if they want to get another inch higher. Do they cop an attitude, or do they take the instruction for maximum advantage? It depends on whether they are teachable.

Even if the coach yells the instruction, it will still give the athlete the advantage they need. We have to decide what our objective is…another inch, or giving the coach a piece of our mind.

Haha. I can already tell this post won’t get a lot of likes. We all prefer the posts that promise nothing but blessings. Me too.

But seriously, criticism is a priceless gift we should treasure if we want the blessing of avoiding “poverty and disgrace.”

Ummm, priceless gift or not, my first reaction is usually defensive. Yours too, right? Criticism is one way we realize we haven’t really died to ourselves yet. Jesus teaches us to take up our cross, which means death to self. No, our flesh is often very alive. Recognize it! When we are dead, nothing will offend us.

I’m not there yet, but I am aware that is the destination. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165

We all have blind spots we need to stop protecting. They are the cause of our plateaus and even failures. They may be standing in the way of God answering some of our most passionate prayers. Don’t be afraid. YOU CAN STILL CHANGE! You will keep changing your entire life. The question is, in which direction will you change?

Correction is not rejection, it is re-direction. Only God sees the map of our life from above. When the GPS tells you to “turn here”, you don’t get mad at it do you? No, you follow directions to get where you want to go.

The same is true with God’s direction. The next time God redirects you, say thank God I didn’t waste any more time going in the wrong direction.

It is doubtful that many of us today would make it as an actual disciple of Jesus Christ, myself included. To be under the direct discipleship of Jesus was challenging at best, and sometimes brutal, because He was always about transformative life-change.

Read the Gospels in The Message translation. I bet you missed the true drama of the daily life with Christ. The Man said what He meant, and to hang with Him was a roller coaster ride. It still is. But it’s all good, because it is all FOR our good.

Jesus changed the life of His disciples forever through discipline and honest correction. He is still calling disciples today to come and follow Him. The US Army used to say “Be all you can be in the Army.” The truth is, you will never become all you were created to be outside of God’s “army.”

Get committed to a good Bible teaching church and let spiritual leaders train you in the Word of God to be a Christ-follower. You have to show-up to grow-up. It will be the hardest, and most rewarding thing you ever do.

Remember “if you accept correction, you will be honored.”


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