Spiritual Practice


Tim Hermanson & Sarah Klauda

I showed my teacher the video I had created for a school retreat and asked for feedback. He liked it but said that it lacked interest and clarity, that it needed more special effects and repetition. Then he showed me things he would have done differently, and I began to see how I could improve my work.

Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to advice.
Proverbs 12:15 (NRSV)

Criticism can easily be positive. By asking my teacher to review my project with me, I was able to learn from the mistakes I had made. I believe constructive criticism is the best feedback we can receive, because it helps us to improve. But I didn’t always feel that way. I used to hate critiques of my work because it was my work and I always believed I had done my best. However, I’ve realized that my best efforts can often be improved by incorporating the ideas and interests of other people. Now before I show any video to the public, I have several friends view and critique it; and their feedback is helping me to grow in my craft. I challenge you to do the same, for we can improve our work only when we know what needs improving.

—Tim Hermanson, 18


REFLECT: How we deal with criticism says a lot about our character. Do we get angry and defensive, or do we pause to discern whether the criticism is worth our while: Does she want the best for me? Is he just being mean? When someone dishes out criticism, we have two options: ignore it or explore it. What helps you to decide?

—Sarah Klauda, 23

—from devozine (November/December 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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