Sunday, July 19, 2009

Creative or Critical?

We went to a concert at our church tonight. I'm still not sure what I thought about it so i'm not going to try to describe it. However, I did hear one statement that I thought was worth the whole hour.

"Do you want to be known by God as a creator or a critic?

It reminded me of one of the wisest men i know who told me once that he had a "Critical" file. He said told me that "creative people are often critical people" -- that it is easy for them to see the mistakes in others. And so he had a file system where he kept critical thoughts. He had files for different professions or stages in life. He had a grandfather file, a senior pastor file, a medical professionals file. He also had files for things he was currently doing: a father file, a husband file, etc. When he had a critical thought he wrote it down and filed it.

For example, if he saw a grandfather doing something that he thought was wrong he jotted down that thought and filed it in the grandfather file. His plan was to get out that file when he became a grandfather and learn from himself. He did that with all kinds of things. And he said that it helped him to have something constructive to do with his negative and critical thoughts.

While I never went so far as to set up a system, I found this to be a great idea. I remember now, somewhat chagrined, of all of the wonderful parenting advice I gave when I was a critical single childless woman.... now all the sudden I am understanding why my advice didn't work all the time.

Tonight I am recognizing my need to be creative as opposed to critical. I have limited energy. I can pour it into creating things and making them better or I can pour it into being critical of others and what they do.

i choose creative. What about you?

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