Today, I want to draw our attention toward any tendencies we have to be hypercritical or carry a pervasively negative attitude.
Although it is good to exercise critical thinking or perform the reasoned analysis associated with being a critic (of something like a policy or a film), that’s not our subject for today.
Rather, I’m talking about the ways we embody a critical way of being.
When we do, we tend to find the flaw in just about anything.
We detract instead of building up.
We attack instead of coming alongside.
We are captious—i.e., ‘marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections.’
Woh … that last one is a vivid description of an ugly tendency!
Such behavior has no place in the Kingdom of God. It more closely resembles the behavior of Satan—the Accuser.
God wants to prune our tendency to be critical and instead, have us bear fruit through edification.
Let no evil talk come out of your mouths but only what is good for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. — Ephesians 4:29
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. — Proverbs 18:21
How about you? Are you busy finding faults or are you continually finding ways to give grace and speak life?
As you contemplate that, please don’t hear what I’m not saying! I’m not saying we should be permissive of mistakes, errors, sins, etc. Far from it! We should pursue excellence, provide life-giving accountability, and admonish those going astray. Yet, there is a huge difference between those habits and the critical way of being I have described here. In our heart of hearts, we all know the difference.
Some days, this is a big struggle for me. I’ve been granted tremendous analytical thinking skills. Those skills pay big dividends in many arenas, but they can also feed a critical way of being. I pray that the Vine-grower helps me just as He helps you. Lord, have mercy
TODAY’s PRAYER: Lord, save us. Save us from ourselves—our negativity, our fault-finding, our nitpicking, our criticism. Lead us in your way, the way that is full of grace and truth. We don’t want to be critical for the sake of being critical. We want to be imitators of you. Prune us so that we bear much fruit.
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