Do you ever find yourself thinking and speaking critically of another? Yep, me too—especially at times when I feel slighted or misunderstood.
Criticism is more than words; it is the expression of our heart. We all have times of frustration with others that is a just a part of life. It is what we choose to do with our frustration that gives us influence with God and people and qualifies us to be agents of change in any situation.
My fourth New Year’s resolution reads, “Refuse to criticize others. You wouldn’t do that in Heaven, would you?” No, I wouldn’t. Criticism is not becoming of God’s kids, whether in Heaven or on earth. Here are two important things I’ve discovered about myself when I get into a critical mood.
Criticism equals judgment
When a woman in the church we pastor wants more attention than I’m giving her, I tend to label her as “needy.” However, if I want more attention than what I am receiving from someone, then I label the person as “distant and insensitive.”
Another example would be if my spouse is more concerned about details than I am, he is “picky.” On the other hand, if I am more concerned about details than he is, he is “messy.” Either way, I stand in judgment of him.
Criticism limits my perspective
Criticism may feel justified and give me momentary satisfaction, but when I criticize another, I’m limiting myself. I find that critical assumptions restrict my understanding of a situation or a person. I’m bound by my perspective and miss an opportunity to see a bigger picture.
Both of these aspects of criticism limit my relationships. Therefore, I’m revisiting one of my favorite memorized Scriptures throughout this year—an inner reminder of the grace filled culture of which I’m a citizen: “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14 NIV).
Comments? Opinions? Criticism? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis