Learning from those who don’t have my best interest at heart

How do I feel when someone gives me unwelcome advice?  First of all, it interferes with my “world-view” that I am perfect.  You may laugh, but this may be a condition we all face.

Some people were shocked when I told them I can’t see my own faults and I need them to point them out to me (gently, of course).  I think they thought they saw their own faults clearly and of course I could see mine.  The truth is neither one of us saw our faults clearly and they have behaved in a way that I think they don’t want to hear their faults from me.

When I get unwelcome advice (or criticism) my “world-view” of being perfect is shattered.  I am immobilized for a while while I try to reconcile the two opposing “realities.”  I used to just dismiss criticism and advice, saying to myself that they are crazy, who are they to talk, and dig up negative memories of them.  Then I met Jesus.  And he gave me the desire to grow.  And Dr. Charles F. Stanley said that God speaks even through those who don’t have your best interest at heart; even through those who hate you.

It took courage to stand and say nothing, listening to someone tell me how wrong I was, and thank them for their comments afterward; like Dr. Stanley said.  It took a lot of will power too.  My mind was flooded while they spoke; of how wrong they were, how unjust the criticism, and how embarrassed I felt, and how I just wanted a safe place to hide.

But eventually it was over.  I thanked them.  And I was left to pick up the pieces of my shattered “self”-view and wondered what to do with this new information they gave me.  Sometimes they are just wrong, it really is their problem, and I can learn about them from it.  But by far, most of the time there are nuggets of gold hidden in their comments.

What hurt the most may be where I need to grow the most.

Jesus said through Proverbs in the Bible: the wounds of a friend can be trusted.  I think also the wounds of my enemy can be helpful.  Though counter-intuitive, if I can welcome the pain-filled information, I may learn things about myself that no one else will tell me.

Disclaimer:  When I am at my best I can consider when I am at my worst.  I don’t always follow the above advice.  But it is my goal.



Author: james bruce mcnaughton

I became Seriously Mentally Ill at age 18, ten years later I got and took the right meds, I accepted Jesus, and my recovery began.

5 thoughts on “Learning from those who don’t have my best interest at heart”

  1. I love this!!! I am all up for constructive criticism! It’s so important to allow ourselves to be slightly polished by others. Sometimes our image of ourself is not a true reAction of reality, just like when we look in an all dimensions mirror and we’re often surprised!!! Great Post!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

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