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The Place of Feedback in our Lives

June 29, 2010

God often speaks to us through other people. Here’s an example from the Buzzard Blog, in which Justin Buzzard writes some very helpful words about the place of feedback in our lives.

We live in a feedback culture. Move your eyes to the right or the left and you’ll spot someone looking for feedback. There’s nothing wrong with feedback. The problem is most people are living FOR feedback, rather than FROM feedback.

We live FOR feedback when we base our identity/happiness on the evaluation others give of us.

This is the plot line of every reality TV show. A group of contestants have a job to perform (sing well, dance well, woo a woman’s heart, etc.). At the end of each show the contestants stand before the judges panel, anxiously awaiting the evaluation, their identity hanging in the balance (will I get a rose, or will I be rejected and sent home?).

I fear that many of us live the Christian life this way. We live FOR feedback. The deep feedback of the gospel hasn’t invaded our hearts, so we spend each day following the plotline of reality TV, anxiously unsure of what the people we’ve placed on the judgment panel of our lives really think about us. We feel the same lack of assurance with God.

Jesus creates a paradigm shift in our relationship to feedback. Jesus shows us a new way: living FROM feedback, not FOR feedback.

On that day that Jesus got a hold of your life, he gave you a rose that will never wilt or be taken back. He gave you feedback that transformed your identity and remains true with each ongoing day of your Christian life. And what God wants from us, what gives him so much glory, is for us to be a people who live FROM his deep feedback, rather than FOR feedback.

As the good news evaluation of the Father seeps deeper into the caverns of our feedback craving hearts, the Spirit empowers us to live radically confident lives, lives that look very different from a feedback-starved world. If we could only begin each day remembering the feedback we’ve already received from the Father.

Today, live FROM feedback, not FOR feedback. Begin your day remembering that your name is already written in the book of life! You don’t have to go out and make a name for yourself today. When you’re tempted today to base your joy and identity on how others evaluate you/your performance, catch yourself, stop yourself–make a decision to live FROM feedback (the feedback of your Father), not FOR feedback.

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