A few weeks ago, my daughter ripped the twenty-two-year-old carpet up from our stairs. Under the nasty, old carpet was beautiful hardwood. The only problem was that when the builders painted the trim, speckles of paint dropped onto the stairs. Before I stained and polyurethane the stairs, I needed to sand the paint off. As I sanded, it made me think about criticism.
I’ve recently joined a writer’s group and Toastmasters. Both give me feedback so I can improve my skills. At first, the critiques were hard to hear. Don’t we all want to be told we are amazing, awesome and the best thing since sliced bread? I felt like they were saying I was a failure or I wasn’t good enough.
Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy.”
As I sanded, I realized my friends are just trying to help me get the paint off my stairs. They aren’t questioning my ability to be a stair, they are showing me the spots of white paint in my life that need to be sanded away so I can be the best stair I can be.
When I am willing to let others point out the paint in my life, I am able to become the best version of myself. The next time someone gives you feedback, thank them. Then think about if there is any truth to what they said. Sometimes there isn’t and you can dismiss it. But other times, there is a gem that can help you become the best stair possible.