CRITICISM AND A CRITICAL SPIRIT
DEFINITION: Being critical is to make and express assumptions about the moral and personal conduct of others. Having a critical spirit is to be guilty of this continuously, always criticizing and putting others down.
FACTS ABOUT CRITICISM AND A CRITICAL SPIRIT:
God is the judge. You are not to criticize others because God is the judge (Romans 14:12-13). When you take it upon yourself to judge others, you are trying to assume a function of God.
You will be judged the same way you judge others. Think about that when tempted to judge and criticize other people (Matthew 7:2).
When you criticize others, you condemn yourself. Very often, you are doing the same things you are criticizing others for–if not worse (Romans 2:1).
When you criticize your leaders, you are criticizing God. Israel criticized Moses and Aaron, but God viewed it as criticism of Himself because He had set these leaders in authority (Numbers 14:27).
DEALING WITH CRITICISM AND A CRITICAL SPIRIT:
Ask God to forgive your judgmental, critical spirit. Since Jesus said not to judge others, then it is a sin when you do.
Focus on dealing with issues in your own life. Instead of judging and criticizing others, focus on your own moral and spiritual condition (Matthew 7:1-5).
Ask God to help you guard what you say. David said, “Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord, keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3).
View others as God sees them. God sees you and others, not as you are, but as you have the capacity to become. Look at a person’s potential, not their problems.
Do not accept criticism raised against you unless you believe it is justified. Simply tell the person, “Thank you for bringing that to my attention.” If it is something legitimate, correct it. If not, forget it. When you are praised for something, do you not lift that praise to God since every good thing done in you and through you is because of Him? Lift unjustified criticism to Him in the same way.
WHAT GOD’S WORD SAYS ABOUT CRITICISM AND A CRITICAL SPIRIT:
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. (Luke 6:37)
And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. (Luke 18:7-8)
You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. (John 8:15-16)
For at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. (Romans 2:1)
So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? (Romans 2:3)
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. (Romans 14:1)
You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. (Romans 14:10)
Each of us will give an account of himself to God. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. (Romans 14:12-13)
The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment. (1 Corinthians 2:15)
I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. (1 Corinthians 4:3-5)
Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you — who are you to judge your neighbor? (James 4:11-12)
(See also “Judging” in this database.)