Criticism poses concern for many of us


As followers of Jesus, our goal should be to live a life that brings glory to God.

We want to be open to the holy spirit as he begins to reveal areas where we need to grow.

Most of us have plenty of room for improvement when it comes to our mouths. For instance, criticism can be an area of concern for many of us.

I’m not talking about the constructive feedback we give because we care about people and want to help them get better. What I’m talking about is the nitpicking, unkind, uninformed, cruel criticism that goes on so often in our world today.

Nobody likes to be criticized. Unfortunately, we fail to realize that when we’re the critic. That’s because we feel justified when we criticize. We seem to think we know what’s best for everyone else.

We criticize everything from the way people dress to the way they spend their money, the way they raise their kids, how they drive, what they post online, where they go (how often they go) on vacation … you name it.

The Apostle Paul had something to say to the believers in Galatia about this very thing: “For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Galatians 5:14) Sounds good! “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

He continues, “But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.” (Galatians 5:15)

Criticism is what seems to happen when we stop looking for the good in people and see only their faults. When we lose the motivation of love, criticism quickly takes over, doesn’t it?

Do you tend to focus on shortcomings or strengths? Is it easier for you to point out what’s wrong or what’s right?

Paul was quoting Jesus when he said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

That sums things up perfectly. And all of us get it. We would much rather be built up rather than torn down.

I know some people who are constantly critical. They are always cutting people down. If you’re always harsh with the words you speak, Paul warns us to be careful about destroying one another.

For some, your harsh and critical words are destroying the potential intimacy in your marriage. Your critical words may be driving a wedge between you and your children. Your critical words may be hindering your Christian witness.

Paul says be careful that your words do not end up hurting the people around you.

Steve Greene is the lead pastor of The Point in Seymour. Read his blog at or email him at [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].

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