Guest Blog- Post Tournament Devotion- Ballots

Many clubs meet all year round. This blog article was submitted by a club leader. This insightful devotion was from one of her student’s. Speech and Debate has so many life building skills! How should we handle criticism or critiques? Here is a competitor’s approach to ballots…

It’s that time again! If you’re anything like me, after the tournament you peeked at your ballots, went home and crashed, slept in until afternoon, and then thoroughly dissected your ballots. I know as a competitor, as much as I want advice for improvement, it can also be hard to take criticism. It’s easier to ignore the instruction or make excuses, blaming the time, my mood, the speech that went before me, or my judges. But in the end, this method does me no good.

As Proverbs 12:1 says,”To learn, you must love discipline” And while it’s true I don’t get to choose the imperfections mentioned in my ballots, I do get to choose my response.

The Bible tells us that the wise response is to consider and apply corrections. Proverbs 15:5 says,” A fool rejects his father’s discipline, But he who regards reproof is sensible.”

I need to remember that these judges have my best interests in mind, and that none of their critiques are directed at anything personal. When I instead focus on the direct application in my speech or case, I find myself responding to the criticism in a more positive manner.

Human nature makes it hard to accept criticism of any form, ballots or otherwise. We all want to be perfect. But we know the only one who has ever achieved perfection is Jesus. So accepting and aiming to improve from constructive criticism really is in our best interests.

Proverbs 15:31 “An ear that listens to life-giving rebukes will be at home among the wise. Anyone who ignores instruction despises himself, but whoever listens to correction acquires good sense.”

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