November 6 - Rebuke or Flattery?

By Crystal J. Ortmann

Today's Scripture: Proverbs 27:5,6

Central Thought: Although it hurts, a rebuke shows more love than flattery.

    Her words stung and I longed to lash out. For a while, I entertained mean thoughts and wondered how my friend could be so hateful. I prayed. Criticism never feels good but neither does revenge.

    Not all critical remarks are justified, but many are. I can always learn something from a rebuke. It's better to tell Jesus how I feel instead of hurting my critic. Once the pain subsides, I'm able to look at it from a different perspective and find there is usually some truth to all criticism. I choose what to do with it. I can allow resentment and bitterness to take over or I can look within myself to see if there is merit. A true friend will tell me when I'm wrong.

    As a writer, I am criticized on a regular basis and I still get offended and defensive. However, the principles of a good critique group can work for all critical remarks: listen to it; don't defend yourself; see if it has merit; use or discard as needed.

    Although it hurts at the time, I would much rather receive constructive criticism than have someone tell me what I want to hear. Rebuke or flattery: the choice is clear if I want to grow.

Devotional Prayer: Lord, help me when I get defensive over what someone says. Give me discernment to know what to change and what to discard.

Today's Bible Reading: Ezekiel 14:12-16:42; Hebrews 7:18-28; Psalm 106:1-12; Proverbs 27:4-6