Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lord, Change My Critical Attitude

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” –Ephesians 4:29-32

Criticism is a sin. It breeds consequences. God cares about how we treat one another and holds accountable one who criticizes His children. The root of a critical attitude is a sinful heart, and there are deeper underlying issues for those who have an overly critical attitude. While constructive criticism can be helpful, there is a fine line- and the difference is the HEART behind the criticism. Is it truly to help make someone better, or simply to make you feel better about yourself??

Criticism: to dwell on the perceived faults of another with no view of their good; disapproval of people for having faults different from your own

**Numbers 12- Who was criticized? For what? By whom?


Ex: marriage counseling/spouses, kids, preaching, leaders/government, bosses, success of others, spiritual gifts/talents, new teacher (class at gym), outfits, etc.

When people are critical, there are deeper issues behind the criticism.

The REAL issues behind criticism:

1. Unforgiveness – with unforgiveness in the heart, criticism will be on the lips

2. Bitterness – living apart from God’s grace, unforgiveness of past hurts

3. Envy & Resentment – jealous, discouraged by own failure

4. Careless, Thoughtless Words- loose lips, often unintentional

5. Pride – Proverbs 16:18, self-exalting! Cloaks insecurity

**Other issues: Anger, Irritation, Disappointment, Unmet Expectations, Impatience, Stress, Guilt


Consequences of a Critical Spirit:

1. Disunity in the Body of Christ – Prov 6:16-19, 7th thing that is an abomination to the Lord

2. Divide and Conquer – The enemy has a military strategy to divide the body of Christ, undermine our joy, usefulness, and unity.

3. Discontentment- Criticism leads to discontentment. When you’re finding fault in every situation, you’re going to be dissatisfied with your God given lot in life.

4. Desensitized to the Sin of Criticism- Talk to GOD about it first.

5. Criticism Plugs the Flow of God’s Blessings- It is impossible to grow more like Christ when you have a critical attitude.

How to Take Criticism:


Follow Moses’ example! When you are doing the Lord’s work, you will be criticized. You will need God’s mercy to help you. Ex: At one point in the 40 year wandering trek across the desert, the people wanted to kill Moses and Aaron. Before the stones began to fly, God showed up in Numbers 14:10-12 and offered to take care of the problem by taking out Israel permanently, but Moses interceded on their behalf. He asked God to forgive Israel, and God showed compassion. God didn’t need the reminder, but Moses needed the reaffirmation of his faith and to demonstrate he trusted God’s merciful nature and modeled that.

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” - Psalm 19:14

“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” – Ecclesiastes 5:2

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.” –Proverbs 15:1-2

“Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” – Colossians 3:13

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.” – Matthew 7:5

“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.” –Luke 17:3

How to Handle CONFLICT:

The Bible clearly addresses how to handle conflict. It does not say be critical, have a sharp tongue, fight, gossip, bully, engage in verbal or physical combat, judge, discuss with others, etc.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” –Matthew 18:15-17


Few things put you in the “wilderness” faster than a critical attitude. This attitude saps all joy out of relationships and sends your own perspective to a dry land far from the Promised land living. Like a slow poison, we may experience the consequences of a critical attitude without realizing it. When God says “Don’t criticize,” it’s not because he is trying to deprive us of some satisfactory experience, but rather to protect us from destructive consequences. Being critical goes against the nature of who He created us to be.


Reference: MacDonald, James. Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (April 1, 2008)


Michelle Irons said...

I enjoy your blog so much and love your blogs about faith and living a Christ like life!

Anonymous said...

This has come at such a critical time in my life. But God always shows up when we need him. He never leaves. I've become very critical and I want it to stop. Thank you for posting God's word to help me do that!

John and Ashley said...

Thank you so much for posting this. The Lord really used your words to speak to my heart.

Anonymous said...

I needed to see this. Thank you so much for posting it.