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Daily Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, February 21, 2022  

Today’s Scripture Reading  |  Proverbs 3:11–20

My child, do not despise the Lord’s discipline
    or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves the one he loves,
    as a father the son in whom he delights.

Happy are those who find wisdom,
    and those who get understanding,
for her income is better than silver,
    and her revenue better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
    and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
    in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
    and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
    those who hold her fast are called happy.

The Lord by wisdom founded the earth;
    by understanding he established the heavens;
by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
    and the clouds drop down the dew. (NRSV)

Beware: nerd alert ahead. When I was in grad school, I got back a paper graded 98/100 and I was frustrated. Despite what my classmates thought, it was not the score that had me frustrated. It was that the score was the only thing written on the paper. There was no feedback. I wanted to know why two points were deducted. I never doubted that it was a fair score, but if the teaching assistant felt that there was room for improvement, I would have liked some direction on how to make those improvements. Critical feedback is how we improve. Otherwise, in an attempt to fix the unknown problem I might end up changing things in my paper that were correct.

In fairness, while I often wanted more feedback in grad school, I am not always gracious when I receive critical feedback. And if I remember correctly, the professor had a policy that he would review any paper but could not guarantee that he would not take off more points when he did so. I decided I did not need to know that badly. Funny how I want the feedback to be on my timing and, if I am honest, I have opinions on what that feedback should be.

While critical feedback can be hard to hear, I try to remind myself that the person would not bother giving it to me if they did not believe me capable of improving.

Loving God, help me to not be weary of your reproof. Help me to see you love through your corrections, and help me to grow into the person you know me to be capable of being. Amen.

Written by Katie Patterson, Youth Ministry Program Manager

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