What reaction reveals about relationship


Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good …” Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.

- Exodus 18:17 and 24

How do you react when someone criticizes or critiques your work? Our reaction reveals something about our relationship with work.

Some of us are insecure. We dread hearing someone speak back to us our many doubts. Critique deflates us and sends us limping away.

Others of us overly identify with our work. We’ve got too much of ourselves wrapped up in our work. We can’t separate a critique of our work from a personal attack. Critique makes us defensive.

Look at what Moses did in today’s passage. He had just finished a magnificent season of work: rescuing God’s people from Egypt and leading them toward the Promised Land. And then he hit some administrative difficulties, some organizational design problems. He was nearing burnout and no one would say anything to him about it.

That’s when Jethro – Moses’ father-in-law – spoke up. “What you are doing is not good …” he began. Moses didn’t get deflated. Moses didn’t get defensive. He listened and took advice. And his work benefitted.

In this moment, Moses wasn’t look to his work for personal validation and he wasn’t overly identified with his work. He could receive Jethro’s critique and grow.

What does your reaction to critique reveal about your relationship with your work?

1 Comment

Being open to critique is mature.

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