Okay. It’s time for true confessions, here. I (blush . . .) am an American Idol wanna-be! More than once, (okay, more than twice, even . . .) I have been caught by my husband or my kids, hairbrush in hand, belting out the Star-Spangled Banner, imagining crowds of out-of-control fans holding up posters with my name on them. In my musings, even Simon Cowell is awed by my unmatched talent. But then, the amused and somewhat frightened expressions on the faces of my real-life audience always bring me back to earth. Right here, in front of my computer. Typing these words to you.
American Idol is one of the biggest pop-culture shows of our time. One of the stars created through that show is the singer, Clay Aiken. He had tremendous talent, but then, so did everyone else who made it to the finals of that show. Clay was cute, but gangly, and a little nerdy. (Sorry, Clay! But you were.) While we all loved this nerdy guy, he needed some work. And one of his harshest critics during the show was – you guessed it – Simon.
While many of the contestants left the stage in anger or tears after Simon’s harsh words, Clay seemed to lean forward, eagerly drinking in every mean, nasty word. And the next week, while many contestants continued making the same mistakes, Clay would have fixed whatever problem Simon had addressed. Clay used Simon’s criticism to his advantage. He was wise. He made it to the top two in that show, and is now a huge pop star!
One of the main differences between a wise person and a foolish person is his/her ability to accept instruction and correction. None of us is perfect – not a single one of us. We all have times when we need to be rebuked, or corrected. The foolish person will take correction, scoff at it, and hate the one who delivered it. The wise person, on the other hand, will take the correction, examine it, apply it to his/her life, and will appreciate the one who delivered it. Even if the rebuke was given harshly, and was intended to bring hurt, the wise man will use it to his advantage, and will grow to be a better person because of it.
So maybe, the next time my real-life audience laughs at my passionate attempt at musical genius, I should ask them for an honest appraisal of my talent. After all, it is important to give the fans what they want. I may just learn something that will help me on my journey to fame!
Proverbs 9:7 – 9 “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”