I have noticed something interesting about the speeches made at the Academy Awards… people always thank their partners, parents, children, friends, co-workers, directors, producers and (it seems) everyone else but I have never once heard anyone thank a critic! A critic is someone who carefully observes the actions or performance of an individual and notes what is lacking. Then they take delight in pointing out the flaws to the whole world. A coach is someone who carefully observes the actions or performance of an individual and notes what is lacking. The difference is that they are full of encouragement and want to see you succeed! They believe in you and want you to become all you can be. It is interesting that these two roles actually require the same qualifications; the only difference is the attitude which you bring to the role. I have met some critical, harsh and mean-spirited individuals who only seem content when they are putting someone in their place but I have noticed something about them…they are often lonely, disappointed and bitter because of the way they have chosen to view the world. Some of the most important people in my life see my flaws (a list probably as long as my arm) but they choose to help me work through them and become a better man rather than criticising me for them, pulling me down. And then, of course, there is the greatest coach of all – Jesus who stands alongside us cheering us on. So critic or a coach – the choice is yours!