This week, I was privileged to be invited for a couple of days rest and relaxation by a friend, it was a lovely surprise invitation and one that I shuffled my schedule quickly in order to take full advantage.
During our time away, we relaxed, talked and shared. In our conversation, like an interval, she said something to me, that left me humbly embarrassed, but encouraged.
She said to me; "I don't know how any one can be in conflict with you, or have a problem with you, you are so easy to get along with" This could easily be followed from an 'aaah, that's nice' or a 'hmmm, she wouldn't say that if she knew what you were really like'
Do either of those follow up statements really matter? yes they do; one comes from someone who sees the good in themselves, therefore they see the good in you; the other comes from someone who may be critical and condemning of themselves, so therefore they are critical and condemning of you.
My husband prayed with me, recently and in his prayer he said, 'Lord, help us, that is, Myself and Him, to see the good in each other, and to build our love on that, to pick out from among the rubble, something that sustains our love.....' He didn't use those exact words, (the latter part), but that is what in effect he was saying. I loved that prayer, because it helped me to recognise that we both desire to see good in each other, and ourselves, and enable more of that love.
The same friend, also spoke of the importance of reviews, when encouraging me in a business discussion, she said that: 'A lot of decisions to go places, do things, or even eat at a particular restaurant are based on reviews. That really got me thinking, very rarely will I decide to access a particular service, or buy an item on line, without first checking the review. So then what are my Reviews, when people see me, hear me, hear of me, read my writings, observe my life, what review do they see?
In the book of Proverbs, a catalogue of wise and thought provoking words, the author says that we should: "Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips" Chapter 27:2. I like that because it is a Review, of Me, of You. I grew with the saying, "Self Praise is no Recommendation", at the time the meaning was not entirely clear, it sounded more like a poetic phrase in a Reggae song, but then I came to understand that statement in more depth. I can tell you, about me, I can sell myself, sing my praises, boast of my achievements, but I still like to recommend, be recommended, and read the reviews.
Another telling scripture in the Bible is one found in 1Peter 2:12, "Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation"
As a teacher and counsellor, I often get feedback. They come in various forms, cards, journals, verbally; the feedback is in effect a review of me, and what I do, but primarily the impact I have on their lives. Last month, I opened an email to read, what I thought was a reference request from two students whom I had taught two years previously. As I read, looking for the point which would say, 'Please can you....it didn't, instead what I read, once again left me humble, the students talked of the success they had achieved, in attaining additional qualification as a result of completing the primary certificate with me, but then went on to say how much they appreciated the impact I had had on their lives, and that every now and then they can hear my voice encouraging and supporting. They wanted to thank me, and show their appreciation. Sigh. I loved that, I felt so encouraged, they are my Walking Reviews.
Hearing and acknowledging my reviews, helps me to continue to build on them and do the right thing, to say the right things, and to behave in the right way. No Business, likes a bad review, as I am sure no Person likes a bad review.
What does your Review say about you?