Avoiding a Critical Spirit.
There are many people today who believe they have the spiritual gift of “criticism.” I am sure that you have met them too. They complain about nearly everything everyone else does. They always have a better idea. These individuals find ways to focus on the negative! Nothing is good enough. Chances are if you never met that person you are that person!
So how do you know whether or not you have a critical spirit?
- You look for the negative. If you choose to find the negative you will always find it. People with a critical spirit are intentionally looking for the negative. They get excited about seeing what is wrong. People with a critical spirit “nit pick” everything.
- You criticize before you celebrate. If you are immediately stating whats “wrong” instead of celebrating what is “right” you probably possess a critical spirit. We should always find the “right” first – look at others and see the good. Celebrate that.
- You make the following statements all the time: “I would have done it this way” or “In my many years of experience” or “I don’t think that was the best way.” Of course there are better ways to do things, but there are many people who only think their way is the best way.
- You hope that person fails. It is hard to believe but there are those who secretly pray for others to fail. I know, that seems so mean, but it is true. They may cheer you on publicly but privately they are hoping you don’t do as good as they would do.
- You always have a negative face. Yep. There are people who always walk around with a scowl on their face. They have a hard time even smiling. They walk around always with a chip on their shoulder – and it is seen on their face.
- You pout when things don’t go your way. There are those who just go around and complain, complain, complain and complain when things don’t go their way. “I can’t believe they did it this way” or “My boss does not know what he is doing” or “Yeah, Let’s see how well that goes with them doing it.”
- You gossip. If you carry the negative thoughts you have and plant those seeds in other people you have a critical spirit. Gossip will destroy friendships, families and opportunities. Someone said to me a while ago, “I don’t know why everyone comes and tells me about everyone else.” My response: “Because you are a gossip.” Don’t speak it and don’t listen to it.
Oswald Chambers wrote, “Jesus’ instructions with regard to judging others is very simply put; He says, “Don’t.” The average Christian is the most piercingly critical individual known. Criticism is one of the ordinary activities of people, but in the spiritual realm nothing is accomplished by it.” Let the words “nothing is accomplished by it” settle into your heart today. In fact, nothing good comes from it or out of it.
Matthew 7:1 declares, “Do not judge others …” Pretty simple. Stop judging. Nothing good comes out of it.
So how do you keep from being critical?
- Stay humble. The most critical people are typically arrogant. They are filled with pride.
- Focus on your own life. Examine yourself. Keep yourself in check.
- See the good. Choose to see the good in everything and you will find it.
- Zip the lip. If you do not have anything good to say do not say anything.
- Celebrate everyone. Make a decision to praise people for their effort and achievement. – even if you could have done it better.
- Remember Jesus is the only perfect one. No one will ever be perfect. Only Jesus is perfect. And he chooses not to condemn. He speaks life, encouragement, hope and praise!
Resist the urge to be critical. Nothing good comes out of it.