Dangers of Criticism

Lots on my heart this morning and I’ve been contemplating how very easy it is to make judgement calls on other lives while sitting and doing nothing ourselves. Here is what I mean.

HUSH. Please just hush. Do not be so bold as to express your opinion on matters that you have no first hand knowledge of. Even then, tread lightly.

Do not think you understand the struggles a foster-parent faces, no matter how many Hallmark movies you have watched, unless you yourself have been in the trenches. Or of an adoptive parent. Or a step-parent. Or any parent for that matter.

Do not criticize a family struggling with finances because you think you’ve arrived. Be careful, matters can change quickly. If the Lord has blessed you monetarily, I’d suggest you offer a helping hand instead of wagging an accusing finger.

How about people who are overweight? Don’t assume you know their character or value by the size of their clothes. I assure you as someone who struggles, there is likely much effort being made of which you are not aware.

Oh, here’s a good one. Bratty child? Really? Are you absolutely sure about that? Do you know the challenges that child has faced? Do you know exactly how hard those parents are trying?

And for the love of all that is good and kind, please hold your scathing remarks when it comes to other Christians and other churches if you consider yourself to be one. We should be cheering each other on instead of competing, complaining and criticizing.

Romans 14 has a title of the ‘Dangers of Criticism’ in the NLT. If you haven’t read this chapter in a while, please take time to do so. Here is a portion of it as it reads in ‘The Message’. I’m praying that you and I will take these words to heart and never cause another person to stumble in their faith walk by careless criticism.

“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.

Forget about deciding what’s right for each other. Here’s what you need to be concerned about: that you don’t get in the way of someone else, making life more difficult than it already is. I’m convinced—Jesus convinced me!—that everything as it is in itself is holy. We, of course, by the way we treat it or talk about it, can contaminate it.”

Romans 14:10-14 MSG

3 thoughts on “Dangers of Criticism

  1. I adore this! As a teacher, I have often considered criticism a job hazard. It’s hard to turn it off once you start using a critical eye.

    1. Thank you Amy. I have often been the critical parent, but I’m trying hard to change.

  2. I experienced this in my Sunday School class this week. A woman was asking for prayer for the husband of a wife who is in the final stages of cancer. But instead of praying for comfort, she told how the husband was not willing to let her die and felt that he should let go. She wasn’t aware that the couple had been our friends for 40 years. My husband and I wanted to speak up to defend them, but we remained silent, rather than criticize her. God knew they couple needs regardless of how the conversation went. So many times people project what they believe they would feel in a circumstance on to other people, often with the best intentions.

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