Ever feel like your sense of self-perception is a bit.. off?
I remember years ago asking my husband to 'describe me in one word' (while I was imagining that he would likely say "mellow" or "easy-going")... he replied: "animated".
WHAT?!! I said with arms waving.... "animated??!".
Sometimes we need someone else to give us the objective perspective.
But the real question is, would we even let them?
Because it seems we are living in a culture that fosters being thin-skinned. We are easily offended. Easily defensive. Easily wounded.
What makes us so insecure? So hostile to any one saying that we may have a 'flaw'? While we freely admit that we aren't perfect (since we are human after all)... we quickly resent anyone for having the audacity to point that out to us.
What if we saw the critiques and constructive criticisms as a doctor's scalpel?
Sure, it cuts deep, it hurts.
But maybe.. just maybe, it's helping to cut out a tumour.
Maybe it's there to help us see the sickness.
Would we pull the scalpel away and say "hey, mind your own business, that tumour is just part of who I am... leave me alone".
I hope not.
Whether it comes from the criticisms of someone cruel, or as the gentle rebuke from a close friend - can we perceive what slivers of truth may be there - and grow from it?
It's so easy to be defensive. It's so natural to self-justify.
Personally I have found immense freedom in knowing that my identity is hidden in Who Jesus is. I have been accepted by His grace. I see my imperfections, sure. But they no longer condemn me, or taunt me, or accuse me. They simply echo 'grace' afresh... that I have been saved by grace, despite my pitiful performance.
So, I hope my friends feel safe to confront me when I need it.
To know that I will respect, and love them all the deeper for it (even if I throw a small hissy fit at first... I'm still in process here). Because my ability to see my own 'issues' is fairly hazy.
Most days I think I'm pretty awesome.
Maybe I have a pride issue...
But I'll tell you what, I am hungry for a few good friends. A few true, real friends who aren't afraid to 'offend' me with a loving smack up the head.
I may even attempt to return the favour... if you'll let me.
Pride comes from not knowing yourself and the world. The older you grow, and the more you see, the less reason you will find for being proud. Ignorance and inexperience are the pedestal of pride; once the pedestal is removed – pride will soon come down.