“A word spoken at the right time is like golden apples on a silver tray.” Proverbs 25:11 HCSB
“Good criticism is very rare and always precious.” Ralph Waldo Emerson*
In college, I was required to attend a weekly Performing Arts Class. In this class, music majors were required to perform at least once every semester. When it was my week to sing, I was nervous and everybody knew it. I somehow made it through the song and rejoined my fellow students.
Afterward, I was approached by a senior who said, “John, I’ve never heard that song sung that way before. Are you sure you want to continue in music?”
I turned to walk away when I heard him laugh and say, “You must be so proud.”
I was crushed and walked away to the sound of his laughter. When I rounded the corner, I almost ran into another senior who could tell that I was upset. He smiled and said, “Don’t worry about it. You did fine. Sure, there’s room for improvement, but you did a lot better than I did when I first sang in Performing Arts Class.”
Lord, help us give good criticism.
*Culture, the Conduct of Life