Consider the source…I have heard that phrase before. When my blood pressure is elevated because of a major irritation, my friends urge me to consider the source. The implication is that we can dismiss critical comments or insensitive remarks from people that lack credibility in our eyes. Such a conclusion makes perfect sense to me. But maybe I am wrong?
I really had to admit this at all, but I honestly believe there is a grain of truth in the assessments of even the most irrational critics. I use their flawed character as a so called legitimate reason to dismiss the content of their complaints. In the process, I miss the grain of truth that is very much present. Is there is a lesson to be learned?
If I want to be emotionally mature, then I must be willing to go on a search and rescue mission for the grain of truth that is buried under the layers of bad attitudes and inappropriate behavior being displayed by the critic. Such a mission however is often hindered by my own huge ego.
Many years ago I was directing a church camp session when a very immature youth minister severely criticized some of the procedures I had in place at the camp. The young man was not well suited for the position he held. And he just had a bad attitude. Consequently I totally dismissed his critical comments that he verbalized, and put in writing to the camp board. At some point after that event, I realized that his analysis of my procedures was right on target. If I had been willing to listen, I could have learned something valuable.
I have been reminded recently of the importance of listening to my critics. More specifically I realize that I must be an equal opportunity listener. As much as I hate to admit it, my big ego forms a solid layer that impedes the mission of digging down to the grain of truth that no doubt exists.
Who is criticizing you? What are they saying? Can you detach the content from the source? That is actually pretty important, because it might help you to experience growth in area of life that needs attention. Consider the source? That is not bad advice per se, but perhaps there are other factors to take into consideration as well!