Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Criticism builds character. Film criticism has changed drastically over the years. Audiences listen to other audiences and have become their own critics without depending a polarizing figure that represents all film critics like Gene Siskel or Roger Ebert. This change reflects our own lives as well. It’s easy to avoid criticism, but hard to discern when and how to answer criticism. It’s so easy to read a long point list of criticisms of your work then think “I shouldn’t be doing this anymore” or “I’m just no good at this”. We never question if the critic is credible, knows the context, or knows us. We instantly propel ourselves into a spiral of abysmal negativity and self doubt. Was this work really worth it to have it critiqued in the first place? Maybe not. That can be positive and shift us in more worthwhile directions.

I recently experienced two experiences (one from the far past) where the critics make a key error – not asking questions to me or involving/collaborating with the source/author/me. It wasn’t worth “retaliating” with a reply because it didn’t matter (my best friend reminded me of that). It felt very freeing not to respond even though I was justified, righteous, or positive in my part. Collaboration promotes a detailed understanding, but we have to discern if the other party is even interested. If they are not even interesting in asking questions to me or involving/collaborating with me, then it’s pretty likely that they are not interested or have some other agenda. We have to be honest with ourselves as well. Do I want to converse with this person? That doesn't mean looking them up on Facebook, but going to the Father in pray, using God's gift of the Holy Spirit, and reflecting on Jesus' amazing life examples. It’s a tough emotional road, but genuine care to make each other better is what criticism is all about. That true caring heart comes through to others in more ways than I could ever imagine.

I enjoy how God is using criticism in my life and he continually refines me. Eroding my defenses, refining my logic, improving my skills, and collaborating with others continues as my heart is much less hardened to the point where my first reaction is to love and consider the critic and the person doing the criticism. It's not complicated anymore. It's so simple. I make my points calmly and collectively. My responses are points/general and my gratitude is genuine then I can let go, unless the person wants to get in touch with me and learn more. "There is no way you would say that to me if we met face-to-face" was one of my past responses that is shameful to me now. I don't have that knowledge in the first place and I should not have used it under the guise of an underhanded threat to the other person. In my heart I feel it should not bother me see or talk to anyone I have interacted with in the past because then I will be fully walking in Jesus' footsteps.

No comments: