I’ve really stunk at posting this week. It’s Wednesday morning, and this is the first thing I’ve posted. I’m sorry. I know I could do better.
I know I could do better.
That phrase is probably the best descriptor for both my everyday life and my spiritual life. They aren’t separate, by any means, or in different categories, but both have different implications, nonetheless.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like criticism all that much, let alone from someone who knows nothing about what they’re saying. It takes everything in me to not react negatively and harshly.
But, when someone who knows what they’re talking about offers his or her opinion and wisdom, I know better than to brush it off and go about my day like I’m the right one and he or she is the wrong one. I’d be a fool to ignore wise counsel and experiential insight.
Why? Because I know I could do better, and someone who knows better is telling me how they succeeded in the same area, or even failed, and wants to help me.
I know I could do better.
I’m not normally a humble person; honestly, I don’t think many of us are. Our natural disposition (which is no excuse) is to be selfish and prideful. I don’t always like owning up to my mistakes and failures. It isn’t comfortable, or fun, or easy, or natural whatsoever.
In my everyday life, there are so many different things where I can confidently, or somewhat confidently, say, “I know what I’m doing.” Usually, I know enough to get by and learn throughout the process so I can know better about what I’m doing. But, there are even more things where I don’t speak the truth of, “I have no clue how to do this,” but still proceed and act like I do. I don’t want to admit it, but I know I could do better and not lie about my competency.
In my spiritual life, I can confidently say I know I could do better. I know I could pray more, read more, talk about Jesus more, invest in relationships for His glory more, etc. But what do I do? I don’t do that. I may want to do it, and be passionate about doing it, but I just don’t. Romans 7:15 puts it better than I ever could:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing that I hate.
I want to love Jesus more. I want to love people more. I want to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. But what do I do? I slack off and forsake the calling on my life to do those things.
I hate inauthenticity. I hate lies. I hate sin. But, what do I do? The very thing(s) I hate. I end up being inauthentic. I end up lying. I end up sinning.
We all need someone to help spur us to better living, better thinking, better speaking, better doing. While sometimes constructive criticism really sucks, I’m more than thankful for it. I’m so glad I have people in my life who care enough about me to help me do better.
I know I could do better. Even more, I have friends who want me to do better.
What’s the best piece of constructive criticism you’ve received? How did that help you to do better?