I believe we dramatically underestimate the power of negative words, especially when it comes to criticism. But Scripture is quite clear about the power of these words, teaching us they are devastating to our spirit (Prov. 15:14).
So who would purposefully choose to be a critical person? It means you can never relax and enjoy anything. You’re always on the lookout to find fault in whatever is happening around you at any given moment. You look for the worst and miss the best. What’s more, it makes you and everyone around you miserable. No one likes to be around a faultfinder, a person who is critical about everything.
If we develop a habitual critical view of life, we always respond the same way when presented with any opportunity, problem, challenge, or new relationship. We respond with a quick evaluation and synopsis of what can go wrong. It becomes second nature to criticize and find fault; it comes as effortlessly as breathing. Speaking of which, I will never forget an incident when all of my managers were gathered for a crucial presentation given by a seasoned consulting group. Their credentials and experience were impressive. They had proven success in addressing the serious issues we were facing. But following their recommendations, one of my key people responded with his normal critical assessment: “It will not work here.”
How does one become a critical person? For many of us, difficult life experiences as a child or young adult can easily cast us in the role of victim. We feel sorry for ourselves, pity ourselves, and begin the descent into the only role where we think we can get ahead of others: the critic.
The worst part of being critical is that we make authority figures the target of our foulest criticism. The level of criticism levied at figures of authority is disgraceful, and Christians don’t seem to comprehend the damage done when they act like the world with criticism and negative comments. No one is immune to the blasts of criticism, from our pastor to the president; we are often unrelenting.
There is only one appropriate response in coming to the recognition that you are being critical or have criticism in your heart toward another person. That response is to confess the criticism for what it is: sin. Confessing my sin of criticism and judgment to another person is humbling and, most important, freeing.
We would like to thank Tim Cameron & Charisma House for providing this plan.