Embracing Feedback - The One Year Daily Acts of Gratitude Devotional
People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray.
The gentle chime heralded the arrival of an email I was slightly dreading: my student evaluations had come in and were available via a single mouse click.
My cursor hovered over the link to instantaneous statistics in bar graphs and percentages, comparing my teaching to that of other faculty on campus. At a granular level, they would measure student outcomes and my ability to engage learners in the day-to-day grind through the material.
I hate the seemingly long moments between receiving these emails and clicking the link. As a classic overachiever with tendencies toward people-pleasing, I simultaneously long for and dread feedback. My heart races as old insecurities and questions of worth flood my brain, and persistent lies try to resurrect themselves, insisting that I entertain them yet again.
I’ve learned to pray over feedback (teaching or otherwise), asking first that Jesus would help me filter it through the lens of scriptural truth, but also that I’d receive it with an open heart and mind, without taking offense or becoming defensive.
And as much as I hate receiving anything but the highest ratings, I’m grateful for harder feedback—information that reveals blind spots or shortcomings, suggestions for what I’ve learned to call growth opportunities. Truthful feedback highlighting a weak spot means someone was brave enough to risk offending or angering me because they see my potential and care enough about my future growth to speak up.
As a woman who loves and follows Jesus, I am continually being refined in my faith and other areas of life—whether that be professionally or in my relationships. If I’m not actively growing—listening to those who love me enough to offer correction—then I’m stagnant, at risk of going astray from the best God has for me and what he’s called me to do. Admittedly, this is hard. But the resulting growth and improvement are so worth it.
Today’s Act of Gratitude
As we start this new year, take a moment to gratefully consider a piece of honest feedback given in good faith. What change do you need to make?