The living God has made us to reflect the Creator’s wise stewardship and reflect the praises of all creation back to its Maker. This is the key to flourishing. But humans have turned their vocation upside down, giving worship and allegiance to forces and powers within creation itself.
Not only is it important that we guard against criticism in order to prevent burnout, it is also necessary to not criticize others and burn them out. One of the best ways to avoid becoming a critic is to instead become very good at giving feedback.
How can we deal effectively with criticism so that it doesn’t contribute to burnout? While there is no magic formula or simple recipe, there are some best practices. See how many of these four best practices work well for you.
For reasons generally related to religious aversion, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) has long been dubbed “spiritually dark,” and, more recently, the “None Zone.” Here, ‘darkness’ and ‘absence’ are words used to describe the spiritual environment of the region. However, I suggest we consider a different word to describe the PNW: grey—a term that captures a particular attitude toward life . . . a mundane, humdrum, dullish mood about the nature of everyday reality.
Ministry is a rich and rewarding vocation—until it’s not. For most of the ministry leaders I know, any idyllic notions they had of life as a pastor lasted about three weeks into their call. The honeymoon phase of ministry ends and real life sets in as the tide of warm smiles and kind compliments goes out, leaving behind rocks of criticism and complaint. If you’re lucky in ministry life you will be buoyed along with enough compliments and encouragement, only occasionally experiencing the pain that comes from stepping on a sharp rock of criticism. If you’re not so lucky, you’ll grimace with every step because overly critical people litter your way with painful remarks and sharp jabs.