Monday, May 19, 2014

Minding My Bid-Ness

For those of us who are perfect, and even for those of us who aren't, it is easy to look at the world of other people and see ways that they could improve.  Those improvements might make their lives easier and better for them, but surely they would make things easier and better for us.  Getting them to change is the challenge.

One of the chief methods used to move "the other" to that needed improvement is criticism.  Criticism has various forms, but the two main distinctions are subtle and direct.  There are mixtures of the two forms, but the main categories would be subtle and direct.  Most parents of young children employ direct criticism if that is the form of motivation they select.  Direct criticism would be such comments as--You never clean the table, pick up your toys, or do anything correctly.  The trap in direct criticism is when the critic become over enthusiastic and says something to the effect--I will show you how to do it right.  This is a trap to be avoided, because anyone except a young child will learn to let the critic do everything themselves.  Subtle criticism tries to be less direct and is used with people older than 9, because direct criticism can provoke fights.  Subtle criticism can take the form of sarcasm or feigned ignorance.  If subtle criticism is practiced effectively it will eventually break down self-esteem of the imperfect person.  Then the object of criticism becomes more pliable and under "control."

So, let me conclude with examples from Scripture where Christ used criticism to teach about love.  Oh, I can't find any.  I wonder if there is a lesson in that somewhere?

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