God commands me to examine myself, to let ALL scripture reprove me, to ask God to search my heart, to let the iron of his word and faithful friends’ reproof sharpen my iron. Do I really want to be a sharp sword in his hands? Then I must have frequent sharpening.
All scripture will first establish truth for me to live in /and all truth will REPROVE me/ my being REPROVED will lead to my being corrected/ being corrected will lead to my equipping/ which will lead me to develop the CHARACTER OF CHRIST/ which will lead to ministry.
So many people want to jump reproof and correction and go straight to ministry or to declaring themselves equipped. THERE IS NO MOVING AROUND REPROOF. Without that, correcting, perfecting furnishing and ministry vanish.
BLESSINGS TO ME OF FEEDBACK (in no particular order of importance)
- Understanding why others struggle
- No need for defense or blame or excuses or explanations which all tire us out and impress no one. Instead free to repent and grow.
- Enjoying shared fellowship with others who are being real.
- Have my ways directed: by God through friends, family, finances, health
- Understand Doctrine’s purpose and meaning,application, and “SO WHAT?” better.
- When I do mess up and then apologize, others listen and cut me slack.
- Experience continuous growth throughout my life as friends are willing to have their iron sharpen mine.
- Enjoy the affirmation of others, that my life has allowed God to minister to them.
- Find that I am in the position, by virtue of my allowing reproof and correction, to minister to others.
- Find tools and truth and support that helps me grow.
- Find forgiveness and new trust and involvement and relationship with those I have offended.
- Continue to receive valuable confrontation because the others are rewarded by my appreciation and change.
CURSES OF NOT BEING OPEN TO FEEDBACK
- Criticizing others for the same things I do.
- Constantly inventing explanations, blame and excuses that no one accepts any longer.
- Losing the real relationships with those who really love me and call my bluff, when I defend, explain, counter attack and never change. I then only hang out with those who really don’t know me or won’t confront me.
- Unable to commit to responsibility that brings criticism, thus wander without direction, always becoming and never being, because all being is imperfect and thus leaves me open to evaluation and feedback.
- Be full of doctrine, quoting scripture but unable to apply it since, in order to apply it I would have to let it reprove me.
- Always apologizing but never changing so that others grow weary of my apologies and I wonder why they won’t just forget my past unrepented errors and trust me now.
- Slide slowly backwards, because growth requires ongoing self examination and feedback from others. (When I was in the military I found out that anyone over the rank of captain became steadily more irrational because they no longer received feedback.)
- Being always hungry for affirmation but winding up having to praise myself and still feeling no sense of value because any praise I receive is hollow, coming from people who don’t know me, or coming from myselfs. Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth.
- Having initial opportunities to minister based on my command of doctrine; then finding them to fade as the lack of reproof, correction, transformation and true ministry become evident. “My deeds speak so loudly no one can hear what I say.
- Plagued with false and pointless accountability and tools that do not work.
- Focus on touch-up, surface change and not on rebuilding the core, on fixing the current consequences rather than on healing the past results of my becoming allergic to feedback. (It’s hard enough to admit the current need for growth but harder yet to see the full extent of how this has hurt my Lord, his ministry and others. I am always worse than our worst fears but God is greater than my worst problem.
- Painting myself into a corner where by force of habit I can not hear, retain, and profit from feedback;and through ignoring the feedback or counter attacking or getting angry at anyone who calls my bluff; I find myself in a place that no one confronts me so that I may go back to pretending that this means that I am OK.
- Accelerating dysfunction because now I even see other people asking for information as an accusation that I should have already told them. Other people giving information as accusing me of being ignorant. So even ordinary needed information is lost and IU find myself isolated. No one knows me and I know no one. etc etc etc
Feedback is one case in which it is more blessed to receive than to give. One thought is that my best feedback often comes through God from my enemies because my friends don’t want to offend me or are afraid of repurcussions.
Remember when David was being cursed. He said “leave the man alone, God is speaking to me through him”. I had an acquaintance who understood these truths and asked his employees to give him feedback. He figured that he could use a little touch up here and there in his approach to being a boss. At first he got superficial useless feedback, but when he convinced them that God was asking him to do this and that there would not be negative consequences to the employee and that, by the grace of God, he would actually change as a result; he found that they went on and on for hours with details of his need to shape up. —– He was a bit depressed to find out that HE WAS WORSE THAN HE HAD THOUGHT but he did grow and change. He found out that he was about to lose key employees and probably his company as a result if he hadn’t asked for feedback.
“SEARCH ME OH GOD AND KNOW MY WAYS AND SEE IF THERE BE ANY WICKED WAY IN ME AND LEAD ME IN YOUR PATHS–(EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO USE FINANCES, HEALTH, FRIENDS, FAMILY, CHURCH, AS WELL AS YOU WORD TO SHOW ME.)