I'm at a CREDO week in Roslyn, VA, just outside of Richmond. It's a beautiful setting, and in spite of Texas, it's still Spring here. While running this afternoon I spied a bunch of wild strawberries encroaching on the manicured lawns of this campus.
The week is about reflection--looking deeply into one's life, taking stock and sizing things up. It's an important thing to do, something we don't always take time for. Perhaps, like me, we're afraid of finding negative things. Maybe we're just too busy or haven't ever given it much thought or importance. Maybe we think we can't do it.
My biggest barrier is expecting to find negative things, and usually I do find some, along with positive things. Perhaps in that my biggest mistake is to label things negative or positive. After all, I rate them negative if I perceive that they reveal ways I disappoint myself or others, and positive if I meet or exceed others' expectations. There is always the possibility that some behavior is wise, even though it disappoints, or unwise, even though it is met with approval. Measuring myself by other people is a quick way to disappoint myself in the short run and everyone in the long run--it's a no-win situation.
So, the harder road lies before me--to take the feedback I receive and to evaluate it in terms of who I am and what God is calling me to become. That yardstick can help me measure the relative importance of both "negative" and "positive" aspects of my ministries, and get a feel for what the path ahead might look like. Maybe that approach might help you, too.