Self Awareness and Feedback

Life is an interesting experience and I learn a lot about myself by observing the actions of others.  While I will not mention specific teams, it has been interesting to see how the fans of one college basketball team poke fun at another about the academic challenges the other school has.  This really came to light after a closely contested game last weekend that led to one advancing to the Final Four while another stayed home again this year.

As individuals we all have challenges with seeing the faults in others while not closely examining the issues we each have to deal with.  The following verse from the Gospel of Matthew says it all for me:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?   Matthew 7:3 (NIV)"

How often do we look at the behavior of others, pass judgement and feel compelled to provide timely feedback yet pass up the opportunity to reflect on our own issues?  I look in the mirror this morning and say "Guilty as charged" quite often.  Rather than quickly passing judgment on others, take the time to review your own actions and issues first, then seek to add value to the lives of others by giving them timely feedback.

Don't misunderstand me; feedback is valuable to others and we are often giving them a gift when we give feedback that allows them to grow and mature as leaders of their own lives as well as the lives of others.

The challenge I see for myself, and for others, is that we can be seen as hypocritical if we don't choose to use the same medicine for ourselves that we prescribe for others.  Seek the feedback of others first, then choose to move ahead and do the same for those around you.

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Credibility takes a long time to build, but it can be lost in the twinkling of an eye.

Search for those issues you can improve upon first before you choose to point out the faults of another.