November 18, 2018

Sunday Devotional With Mr.E: Response

Do you teach your students how to respond to criticism? This is crucial in developing life long creatives.  Criticism is going to come there way at some point, and they need to be equipped with a response that is fitting a mature(ing) artist.  First, they need to understand that criticism is not always "hurtful".  Some criticism is more of a critique and not a person being overly critical.  No matter the heart behind where the criticism comes from....there can be valuable information for the artist to consider.  It is up to them to filter what they hear & read into beneficial/not beneficial.  Second, they must realize that they can't please everyone.  No matter how wonderful their work is....there will be those who attack it (and them).  Sometimes the negativity comes from something that has absolutely nothing to do with them.  There are those in the world that just are unhappy with life, and are unable to say anything positive to anyone.  Third, they must know who they are as an artist...know their vision/direction for the work they are creating....and be confident in both.  This will allow them to stand strong in the face of criticism.  They will not feel a need for a response if it is not worthy of one.  Many lash out in retaliation to perceived or actual negativity toward their work.  This does no good.  At times, it will only fuel the fire of the one being critical.   A proper response is to consider what is being said, and do the appropriate thing with the information provided.  Use it...or lose it!  This allows the artist to take the high road, and avoid drama that only distracts from their creative pursuits.  

We work hard with our own hands.  When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly. 1 Corinthians 4:12-13a

As believers we face many critics.  As believers...we also make many mistakes that at times warrant the criticism being given.  What is our response?  In Corinthians, we see the first thing we need to do is "work hard with our own hands".  I also think this means for us to not only do the work...but to also do it well.  ( Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31).  If we are working hard & doing our best for God...what do we have to be ashamed?  What do we have to be criticized?  However, this does not mean we should just dismiss anything we perceive as negative directed towards us or the church. We must humbly consider what is being said...knowing we are not above making mistakes or poor choices.  We do not need to allow it to destroy us, but it should inform us so if we need to make changes or ask forgiveness....we can!  We also need to make sure that we do not respond in the heat of the moment.  We must consider the love we've been shown,  the forgiveness that has been lavished upon us, and how we've done nothing to deserve it (apart from the grace of God).  If we think on these things....we can muster the strength to tame our tongue and not "REACT" to the negative comments, criticisms, and attacks that might occur.  

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