Friday, October 26, 2007

Growth hurts

For most of my life, I have avoided confrontation. Rather than confront burglars in the house, isn't it better to lock the door? Of course, not all confrontations are quite so clear-cut. The burglar knows he's doing something wrong, or if he doesn't, he at least knows he could be caught by the police or by an unexpected homeowner.

I don't like telling people they're doing something wrong; I'd rather they pay attention and not mess things up in the first place. On the other hand, when I mess things up, and if I'm liable to keep doing so, I want my friends and family to tell me.

So why am I afraid to tell people stuff -- the kind of stuff I wish they'd tell me when I need it? Probably it's for the same reason people are afraid to tell me; they're afraid I won't take it well, that I'll give them a bunch of guff. And of course sometimes they're right, although I hope I do that less often, now that I'm less young and less foolish than I used to be.

I have two things to think about now:
  1. I need to
    • be willing to accept corrective feedback, and
    • invite people to give me that corrective feedback
  2. I need to offer such feedback appropriately

Which reminds me of Ezra 7:10, which says:
For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.
My tendency has been to do a little of the first, and less of the second.

Well, what's the problem with that, anyway? It's not that I won't get to heaven; rather, it's that I won't grow as much as I can and should. Will it hurt? Golly, it hurts my stomach already just thinking about a conversation I have to have soon.

I'll let you know how it goes.

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