Bringing the Text to Life

I Hate to Be Critical, BUT... Exodus 17:1-7

The Bible shows how to transform criticism from a "stumbling block to steppingstone."

When a nuclear fusion reaction reaches a certain point, and the chain reaction that will emit that awesomely frightful burst of energy is imminent, the situation is said to have "gone critical." If something is not done to disturb or break up the reaction almost immediately, the results will be explosive. Whether the explosion will be a controlled, beneficial release of energy - as experienced in a nuclear-power generating plant - or a rampaging blast - such as those that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki - depends on how we respond in the presence of this "critical moment."

We make a mistake when we think of "critical" events, "critical" feedback and "critical" people in purely negative terms. Our assumption that "critical" moments and "critical" remarks are always bad is so ingrained, however, that we feel compelled to take special (and rather unconvincing) care to add the designation of "constructive" criticism or "friendly" criticism to anything that we realize might be somewhat...

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