A Critical Spirit

A Critical Spirit

via Daily Prompt: Critical

crit·i·cal
adjective
1. expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments.

When you are critical of someone or something you tend to be expressing your disapproval or judgement on something they did or said. When I go onto social media lately, it seems that critical comments and posts are the norm. I see battles and arguments over politics and religion daily now. It seems as though everyone is out to prove that someone else is wrong. What happened to respecting others? Does respect even exist anymore?

Many are being quick to speak and put others down and react out of emotion.  This is not always good or healthy.  As a mother, I do my best to teach my daughter to think before speaking or posting on social media. I believe that our words [and posts] are a reflection of our character. While I don’t live my life based on what others think of me, I live trying to be mindful of the way my words or comments make others feel. Of course I am human so I too have made the mistake of blurting something out that I have regretted after the fact, but I do my best to be cautious with my words and statements.

Words should be used to build other up, not break them down.

While we all have an opinion, many have forgotten what that means. Opinions are personal and are not based on facts. Every one of us has one and they all differ based on our belief and value systems. Just because our option differs from that of another does not mean we can’t have respect for them. We all have different upbringings, cultures, backgrounds and life experiences that have made us into who we are.  Sometimes taking a step back and taking the time to consider why a person’s opinion differs than ours can allow us to strengthen our own beliefs and grow. It is easy to fly off the handle and rant on social media – why not challenge yourself to look a little deeper and be a light in the darkness by sharing your opinions, values and personal beliefs from a place of love.

13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.[Be strong. 14 And do everything with love 

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NLT)

I have strong faith so I strongly believe in doing my best to love at all times.  It is a challenge, but one worth striving for. With all that is going on in the world today, we need to take time to build others up rather than being critical of their mistakes and breaking them down. Choose to make a positive contribution to the world.  Stand up for what is right without spreading hate. Arguments fueled by anger tend to be very destructive and rarely result in resolution.

If you are going to choose to be critical of someone or something it is important to take the time to practice self-control and present your position calmly. This will result in a more powerful and effective outcome.

We all can be critical at times, but rather than passing judgement based on emotion, let’s take the time to think critically. Do some research to understand opposing reasoning and viewpoints. Seek to understand the logic behind their argument and gather evidence to support your own reasoning. By practicing critical thinking rather than just being critical, you will learn to communicate your viewpoint to others in positive way and likely will be more persuasive in getting them to understand it.

Seek to educate others and yourself rather than just going on a critical rant.

Show empathy for other points of view and seek to understand rather than to judge. Not one human being is perfect, we are all fallen. If you seek to tear down those who you disagree with you and find yourself habitually looking for the fault in others you may likely may have a critical spirit.

In the bible, Romans 14:10-12 The Message version it says:

10-12 So where does that leave you when you criticize a brother? And where does that leave you when you condescend to a sister? I’d say it leaves you looking pretty silly—or worse. Eventually, we’re all going to end up kneeling side by side in the place of judgment, facing God. Your critical and condescending ways aren’t going to improve your position there one bit. Read it for yourself in Scripture:

“As I live and breathe,” God says, “every knee will bow before me; Every tongue will tell the honest truth that I and only I am God.”

So tend to your knitting. You’ve got your hands full just taking care of your own life before God.

Having a critical spirit can cause you to miss out on all the beauty that relationship with those who are different from you can offer. If you are one who always seeks to find the fault in others, know that it is possible to overcome having a critical spirit. Seek to learn why you are so critical of others in the first place and make the decision to change. God desires each one of us to encourage one another and to give grace just as he offers to each one of us.

Here are a few tips to help you start to move away from being critical:

  1. Be Grateful
  2. Encouragement others
  3. Learn about and accept God’s Grace
  4. Accept others for who they are
  5. Show respect in all of your interactions with others
  6. Seek to find something positive in every person you meet
  7. Renew your mind and rid yourself of all negative thoughts
  8. Share truth in Love
  9. Learn to Forgive 
  10. Love yourself (You can’t show love to others if it does not dwell within!)
  11. Pray and seek prayer from others

Also, please remember that being a Christian is not a free ticket to be critical of others. God is Love and Jesus did not gain his followers by pointing out their faults or insulting them. Choose love and stop criticizing others and instead approach them from a place of Love.

Growing with you,

Sandy

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