By Chuck Porter
In Pastor Craig’s latest Leadership Podcast, “Giving and Receiving Feedback,” Craig talks about how important timing is to giving good feedback. With social media and other technology, giving and receiving feedback can be almost instant—but that’s not always a good thing. It can leave us wondering, When should I give feedback? How should I give it? And—did Jesus give feedback?
Let’s start with the last question about Jesus. The book of Matthew gives a fantastic illustration of how and when Jesus gave feedback to His followers. A large crowd was waiting for Jesus near the foot of the mountain where He had gone with Peter, James, and John to witness the transfiguration. In the meantime, a man with a demon-possessed child pleaded for the other disciples to cast out the demon, but they could not. When Jesus descended from the peak, a crowd waited for Him, along with the child’s father. Let’s pick it up in Matthew 17:17 NLT (emphasis added).
Jesus said [to the crowd], “You faithless and corrupt people! How long must I be with you? How long must I put up with you? …”
Whoa. Those are some pretty powerful words! I imagine Jesus as an exasperated parent here, grimacing and rubbing the bridge of His nose as He furrows His brow: “Come on, dudes! We’ve been over this already!”
Jesus didn’t hesitate to call out the disciples and the people for lacking the faith it took to heal the boy. Then He called for the boy and cast out the demon so the crowd could see the miracle. But check out what happened in verse 19 (emphasis added).
Afterward the disciples asked Jesus privately, “Why couldn’t we cast out that demon?” “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
Two big things stand out here: the timing and the audience. See how Jesus’ tone changed when He was alone with his inner circle, after they left the crowd and the emotions settled? He was coaching them. He was casting vision. Nothing would be impossible, He said, if only they believed.
It was the same wake-up call He delivered to the crowd to grow their faith, but it was different in one key way: The crowd wanted immediate help from Jesus, but the disciples wanted to learn from Him.
Jesus knew His disciples intimately. They traveled together, broke bread together, and witnessed truly incredible things together. He loved them, and He wanted them to develop because He knew they would carry the cross after He left the Earth. (He told them exactly that only a few verses before!)
If you’re a believer, you’re also Christ’s disciple. You’re a leader. You’re in His inner circle. He wants you to grow, and He wants you to lead others. Giving and receiving feedback is an absolutely crucial part of growing as a leader, as a follower, and as a Christian. God’s Word is written for us, to guide us, and to help us learn and grow.
If you want to know more about effectively giving and receiving feedback, check out the latest episode of the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast and learn about the three things that matter when you’re giving feedback.