If you have a critical spirit
your joy will be swept away
You will spend your time thinking
about the flaws of another
instead of on the sweetness
and of God
If you find yourself
and that person
or in your thoughts
And send your thoughts
into the realm of joy
Your world is small
if all you do is think critical thoughts
Expand your heart
And watch those words
Build others up
You know that you don’t appreciate
someone being critical
in focused attention
and always be
– Susie Stewart
Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, “Let me wash your face for you,” when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.
– Matthew 7:2-5 (MSG)
For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment.
– James 2:13 (AMP)
Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive His approval.
– Romans 14:4 (NLT)
Do you judge others? Is it easy for you to find fault with those around you? Then beware: Your spiritual life is in danger.
A critical attitude can hinder your walk with God and distract you from God’s purposes for your life.
We judge because of our own selfish interests. For example, we sometimes become critical when comparing ourselves to those around us. We try to find fault in others to prove that we are smarter, better looking, happier or wealthier. But these are selfish reasons. We simply want to feel better about ourselves. We also get critical when others fail to do what we ask, or do not do what we think is right. Often, it is a family member, friend or co-worker who fails to meet our expectations. Our expectations lead to a judgmental attitude.
Even our own frustrations can lead to a critical attitude. If life is not turning out the way we desire, we hide our own frustrations by finding fault with others…
Remember, it’s easy to be critical. The faults of others are often very obvious to us. During these times we need to make sure we give grace instead. Thank God for those people and ask the Lord to bless them and reveal His will to them.
It’s really quite simple: God has granted you mercy. He has paid the debt for your sins. Now, the only debt you owe is to offer His love and mercy to others, for “mercy triumphs over judgment” (James 2:13; NASB).
Photo by Susie Stewart