Author: Tim Irving
Healthy ciritism isn’t a bad thing. It can be helpful to correct flaws we may not be aware of and help us to improve ourselves but a critical, judgemental spitirit is! The world has been permeated by a harsh, critical, hypocritical spirit. It has become full of people with planks in their eyes trying to remove specks from other people’s eyes. That is the way of the world and not the way Jesus taught His followers to act. We are called to make disciples and there is nothing that turns people away faster than a self-righteous, critical Christian! They turn me off. That doesn’t mean we don’t stand up for Biblical truth, only that we don’t go around judging and critizing another’s intent. Only God is qualified to to judge someone’s heart. Next to God, we know ourselves best. We know our weaknesses, our failings, our innermost secret desires. To be a truly effective witness, we need to pray as David did. “Search me O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” A good practice to keep ourselves in check is something my wise wife does. Find a smooth stone to carry around in your pocket and whenever a critical spirit rears its ugly head in you, grab that stone and think of Jesus’ words. “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” Humiltiy goes a long way in breaking down barriers too. Proclaiming what a super saint you are doesn’t open the door to a hardened heart but sharing the truth of personal struggles, past faiures, and how the Lord brought you out of them does. Humility is an admirable trait the world needs more of. As Christians we need to set the bar. Look for the good in others not the bad. Stand up for God’s truth but not in a critical, demeaning way. Search our own eyes for planks, ask the Lord to create a clean heart in us, and go forth humbly bearing the fruit of love and kindness, that the world may stop its critizing and maybe begin to listen instead!