The next time you ask for feedback, be sure you’re willing to listen. A farmer and his talking horse enjoyed a good relationship. After a day in the fields with the farmer, the horse asked for feedback.

The farmer said, “You know, you’ve been a pretty good horse. You work hard, and I haven’t had to call the vet many times. But sometimes I wish you would pull the plow faster, because you’re kind of slow.”

His horse replied, “I asked for the feed bag, not feedback.”

One of the hardest things to accept is negative feedback. I’m talking about constructive criticism. This is especially important in ministry. Anyone who wants to have a successful family, business, or church must be able to accept and share feedback. If you don’t have any idea what’s going wrong and how you can make things better, you’ll never improve.

Maybe a parent, teacher, spouse, or work supervisor has pointed out some of your flaws. How did you respond? Did you turn a deaf ear to their wisdom, or did you use their advice to help you take a step in the right direction?

The fool will stop his ears at negative feedback, but only the wise will use it to grow in wisdom. Which person are you?

If one man calls you a horse, ignore him; if two men call you a horse, consider it; if three men call you a horse, buy a saddle. — Persian Proverb

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder