Thursday, April 22, 2010

taking criticism graciously and without offense or depression . . .

Yep, I could personally use some work here . . .

“Another way to know the Lord has gained some ground in your life: when you can accept criticism, even if viciously served, without a sense of resentment and with no need to retaliate.” [Gene Edwards, The Inward Journey]

The Imitation of Christ, Book III, Chapter 57


My son, your patience and humility in time of adversity are more pleasing to Me than your great consolations and devotion during times of prosperity. Why do you give in to sadness when some­thing slight is said against you? Even if something worse had been said, still you should not become disturbed..

But let it pass for now, This is not the first time this has hap­pened to you, nor is it anything new. And if you have a long life ahead of you it won't be the last.

So long as no misfortune comes your way you are sufficiently brave; you give good advice to others and know the right words to use in encouraging them. But when some sudden and unex­pected trial comes knocking on your own door, that advice and encouragement abandon you.

Keep in mind how frightfully weak you are when a trouble­some trifle besets you, but remember, when this or a similar situ­ation befalls you, it is all for your salvation.

2. Keep each trial outside your heart, as best you can, and if it has already knocked you down, don't let it keep you down nor keep you long under its power. If you cannot bear it cheerfully, at least bear it patiently.

Even if you are unwilling to bear the remark and feel anger ris­ing in you, hold yourself in check and let no unbecoming word es­cape your lips that might give scandal to little ones. The inflamed emotion will soon calm down and the return of grace will change your inward sorrow into something sweet.

As I the Lord live, I am ready to help you and comfort you more than ever before; all you need do is put your trust in Me and devoutly call upon Me.

3. Take courage, and gird yourself to endure still greater trials. Though you often see yourself harassed and severely tempted, still all is not lost. You are a man and not God; you are flesh and not an angel! How can you always persevere in the same state of virtue when even Lucifer failed the test in heaven and Adam did the same in paradise?

I am He who raises and rescues those who mourn, and those who readily acknowledge their weakness I lift up to have a share in My divinity.


4. Lord, blessed be Your word, sweeter to my mouth than honey and the honeycomb. What would I do in my many trials and tribula­tions if You did not comfort me with Your holy words? Does it matter which and how many trials I undergo if in the end I arrive at heaven's harbor?

Grant me a good end and a pleasing passage out of this world. My God, remember me and direct me along the right road lead­ing to Your kingdom. Amen.

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