Eric's Sunday Sermon; Correcting Another and Love or “How to Correct Another in Love”.
I don't think Water Buffalo's criticize each other.
Those dreaded words; "You have to...."
Doesn’t this seem like it should be a how-to article instead of a sermon? And in a sense it may be but I encourage you to take what we speak of here for your own contemplation and not at all necessarily to follow.
I had a Dad that was a powerhouse of intellect and size. When I was a little boy I was never anything but self damning when he imposed some correctness on me. Not guilt. He did not say to me “Eric you let me down”, never once. He would simply explain that a correction was important and that I had to learn early about consequences. I generally erred a lot as a boy but not the same way twice. I could always find new ways. And here is a secret no more. I never minded discipline because I had done so much worse without getting caught. I am told that my first word that lasted as the only word for some time was “no”.
That little background is to get us thinking about how some people make it a good thing to correct us and that we have gotten away with much worse. Please stretch the limits of the rules. Please actually don’t even start or get into the box to think outside of. Be you and you are no container of rules. The Wright brothers tested the limits of the law of gravity. Even condemned as blasphemy to think man could rise into the heavens. And now just a footnote in our minds about Kitty hawk.
I test theological boundaries. I have very little reverence for religious, church or State laws. I try hard not to make it about being contrary to what someone has told me to believe. But that is a part of it I am sure based on years of error in this regard.
So how does a contrarian as myself allow for direct criticism, rebuking and correcting? How can any of us? It would seem that we, by just contemplating it may come up with some corrections we would like to make ourselves. Yes I slid that one up on you as it was snuck up on me. Do I correct my-self in Love?
Please don't talk back
Who me? A cookie?
Growing requires acceptance
Self doubt and fear are our worst enemies regarding the ability to create. They are crippling monsters that seem to disobey the hand of God that wants us to create. Self doubt and fear are the number one obstacles to love. Does criticism and correction make us more confident or less? So cool to really reflect on this. I propose here that is does make us less going backward but should not going forward. How can any man criticize today that which I may accomplish tomorrow? In the now and in the future I am free of the criticism that I received 20 minutes ago. And here is the really freeing part. Bill just criticized me. I am fully free to accept it and put it into my quill of arrows for my next adventure in creating or let it gather dust on the path I was on way back when, when he offered it. Please note the subtle change we just made. We can frame a criticism as offered or made.
If we offer advice it has a good chance of being well received. If we make a critique? Probably less of a chance.
Is the “office complaint and bitch and moan box” called that? Trust me it is called a suggestion box. Are we as a society falling prey to not criticizing because the subject receiving it might get their feelings hurt? Is it “bullying” to point out that someone made a huge error? Perhaps we are going too far in that direction. But for our purposes here, we know those out of bounds are not violated if the negative remark is made in love. And it can be in every circumstance.
I did a stint as Dierker Consultancy, Problem Resolutions. I worked both corporate and personal sides. Nobody called me because they were doing great. They had a problem and I would actually get paid to solve it. Talk about breaking some eggs to make an omelet. The first order of business was always to get the folks involved to make a firm commitment that just because we would make corrections that did not translate into blame. The best person to make a correction is the one who made a mistake. We must be free to fail. So free that admitting a fault and moving forward is respected not looked down on. I can still hear it “Son the biggest mistake you made wasn’t being wrong it was in not openly admitting it.”
When the day is done, it is our choice on either side.
Such a classic
Correct by example
So here is where things get quite sticky; beliefs. “I believe in writing in contractions and compound words and switching from the proper order of nouns and adjectives”. I get it if you want to criticize that because that is not how your book that you believe in says it should be done today. You like to write that “he was a funny black man”. I like to write “he was a black funny man”. To me the funny describes him more than the Black. We believe differently probably. Maybe not, but you could still criticize me for how I did it and you may be right.
We are so blessed by intellect that with very little effort we can offer a suggestion and we can thank someone for their insight no matter how rudely done. You do know that on the internet here we have folks who talk funny English like from England or Australia and even an innocuous comment from their point of view might be taken harshly by a shy little Arizona boy like me. And wonderfully vice versa.
There are two types of criticism that you can get in a loving manner. The first is just loving compassion to help you get back on track. The second can just be technical intellectual criticism for furtherance of understanding that can be made in love for both you and the subject. Being passionate about a subject/right or wrong in light of understanding is awesome. When you are more concerned with ideas than people perhaps it might be cool for you to bite your tongue quite often. Or at least hold it, until you figure out how to present it in a way that furthers inquiry and understanding.
Let us touch on faith here because like politics it gets tricky. Nobody that I have met feels and believes just like I do. I like that. I am a special child of God. As are you. Like billions and billions of snowflakes none of us can exactly at the same moment feel and believe the same. For sure it is miraculous but don’t you think that is also magical like a snow covered winter’s night with a billion stars? And likewise the last time I read a poem/psalm/verse and got exactly what somebody else did at that time was never.
But here is the very cool part. We do not need to correct another in faith. We may need to express how we believe to them. If you really want to rebuke someone into thinking your way that would not be to change the other’s way that would simply be to justify your belief. Children young and old who are believers or not will follow examples in love 99% more times than criticism. Be the light and the ship will correct its own path to reach safety.