The Trouble With Feedback

Getting feedback from others can be helpful, but sometimes it can take you off course and stop you from pursuing your mission and purpose in life.

This can happen irrespective of whether the feedback is positive or negative.

I remember listening to a Palm Sunday sermon that talked about how Jesus remained true to his mission and purpose, despite the feedback he received from others.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, he received a lot of positive feedback. The local people were cheering him on as he entered the city, treating him like a king. I imagine this felt pretty good. However, if Jesus had let the positive feedback of the people go to his head, it might have taken him off course. The people wanted Jesus to lead a revolution right then and there. In that time, it was tradition for people to wave palm branches for a military leader. “Hosanna” means “Save us now.” The people had something in mind for Jesus that was different than his true mission and purpose.

Negative feedback can take you off course as well. Jesus also received a lot of criticism. The respected religious leaders of the day thought Jesus was way off base, leading the Jewish people in a dangerous direction. They wanted Jesus to stop, and they were willing to do anything in their power to make that happen. The religious leaders had something in mind for Jesus that was different than his true mission and purpose.

In the same way that Jesus didn’t let the feedback from the local people or the religious leaders push him too far off his mission and purpose, I think it’s important for us to stay true to our own mission and purpose. The people in your life probably have a lot of opinions about what your career should be, what your ministry should look like, who you should marry, and how many kids you should have. It’s okay to listen to feedback if it is helpful to you, but don’t let feedback keep you from being authentic to your true self. We are each responsible for our own path. Don’t let yourself get swept along on someone else’s journey.

Discussion: How much should we listen to and incorporate feedback from others? How can you make sure to stay true to your own mission and purpose?

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