"Of all the judgments we pass in life, none is as
as the one we pass on ourselves."
The Six Pillars of
Esteem, by Nathaniel Branden, New York: Bantam Books
Criticism and Constructive Criticism
Understanding the Gospel of the kingship does not mean that we put on rose
colored glasses and see the world through them. In essence, it sharpens our
focus and we see people more clearly as both victims and sources of perverse
thinking and belief.
There is no reason for us to lose our faculty for critical analysis of
whatever we focus on. Naturally, we are
going to assess our own activities and behavior, as well as that of others.
The challenge comes in not only applying the same standard to others as we
apply to ourselves, but of deciding upon a set of principles to apply to
When we consider or do a critical analysis of something, of course we are
going to end up with either an opinion or a conviction. Our opinion may be
equivocal, but either it or any conviction is going to be positive or
negative to some degree. We are probably going to make a value judgment,
because that's what we do. As children of God we are by nature value
judgment making creatures. You CANNOT have values without using them to make
judgments about yourself, others, and other things.
Is it not a given that humans in the world are starved for affirmation? Such
come from nature or our experience of it but ONLY from other humans. When we make
a value judgment that is positive–when we approve–should we not then look for
a way to affirm the other person? Isn't that the loving, positive, effective
thing to do?
An equal challenge ensues when our value judgment is negative, when we
disapprove. What then should we do? How then should we do it? Why not do it
graciously and constructively?