As strange as this may sound, I would like Christians to be a bit less nice.
If you have read yesterday’s post, you will know that I prefer really specific feedback (how many seconds should I pause after the sermon before announcing the next hymn??). To this I can add my preference for constructive feedback.
Many of the people I meet while preaching clearly want to be as encouraging as possible. As a result, the feedback they give to new preachers like me is very positive.
Now, positive feedback is offered for one – or both – of two reasons: because something was genuinely good or because the speaker wants another person to feel good. How can one distinguish the motives behind positive feedback? I find it extremely difficult.
Equally, when giving feedback, I am prone to forgetting that responding to others from love can sometimes mean risking a small amount of hurt in the short-term to help the other person to reach their potential over the long-term.
There is a difference between negative feedback (I did not like…) and constructive feedback (it would be even better if…) so I am not suggesting that commentators should be unrelentingly harsh. More that the desire to be positive needs to be overruled by the kindness of being constructive.