Criticism is an act that changes us. Bit by bit. Slowly, but surely. It changes our thinking. It changes our actions, and it changes the way we see they world around us. But what happens when we become critical of another person in the body of Christ?
I’m sure we’ve all done this at some point, whether we were in a bad mood, we weren’t the biggest fan of the person, or what ever the reason may be.
Have you ever criticized someone? No? Just me? Okay, no need to keep reading then. If you are like me and have criticized another person in Christ, read on.
The other day a person that I love dearly was just doing what they do naturally.
They are a caretaker and a nurturer.
This is what they do.
This is their gifting, and all of a sudden I found myself criticizing them for doing it. I don’t know if it was the circumstances, just a rough day, or what, but I as I sat there and the Holy Spirit illuminated to me what I was doing I was floored.
Here I was criticizing another person in the body of Christ for walking in their gifting. Their fulfillment of their gifting didn’t fit my mold, and I became critical. I was being critical over something they should be doing and were doing.
Have you ever done this?
I think this scripture hits the nail on the head for us.
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:1-5
Did you catch that? “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you”
That day my standard of measure and the way I was judging and criticizing was pretty crappy.
Remember a minute ago when I said criticism is an act that changes us? Well, it does.
Infections can spread. Your criticism will infect others around you in the body of Christ, because criticism is contagious. If infections are not treated, they will destroy the body.
When we criticize, especially those brothers and sisters within the body of Christ, we not only set a pretty tough measure of judgment for ourselves, but we also bring destruction into the body.
I encourage you today to take a moment of self-examination. Is there a plank in your eye that needs to be removed? Have you had a critical spirit? Pray this prayer that David prayed:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. – Psalm 139:23-24
Don’t allow criticism to change you, and infect the body. Allow the Holy Spirit to illuminate any critical spirit within you so you can remove the spiritual infection, and walk in health.