Day Three – Receiving constructive criticism

Today’s Scripture: Exodus 18:13-21; Proverbs 19:20

Moses and Jethro were both leaders. While the older man was a priest, he probably wasn’t leading as many people as his son-in-law, who oversaw hundreds of thousands. Although Moses was in his eighties, scripture doesn’t indicate that he had much experience as a leader—unless you count the sheep he led in the desert for forty years. Even if he oversaw a small group of shepherds when he worked for his father-in-law, that responsibility certainly did not prepare him for the massive task of leading a multitude of Jews from Egypt to Canaan.

During Jethro’s visit, Moses assumed his normal responsibility of judging the people. While he sat in the mediator’s seat, the Israelites stood around him from morning til night while Moses sought God’s will on their behalf. Imagine Jethro’s shock as he witnessed the throngs of people clamoring for the attention of one man.

As leaders, sometimes we do things out of routine instead of intentionality. Every now and then we should to step back and analyze why we do what we do. Is the way we’re doing it the best way? Moses had a blind spot, but Jethro was bold enough to step up and speak out. Thankfully, Moses had a teachable spirit and the instruction saved him from possible burn-out and the people from chaotic leadership.

No matter how seasoned or experienced we are, there’s always room for improvement. A critical observation from someone else may sting for a minute, but that momentary unpleasantness will help us become the types of leaders our people deserve.

Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise” (Pro. 19:20).

  • How well do you receive constructive criticism? How well do you receive it from your “in-laws”?