The Abrasive Effects of Criticism…

Periodically, someone in your life assumes the position of “heavenly sandpaper.” This person is an expert at finding fault, no matter how minute—and focusing on it. The result of such abrasion is anything but refining. Instead, hurtful words grate against the grain . . . strip away self-worth . . . and wear you down emotionally.

God holds all of us accountable for how we use words— especially words that wound others. Excessive, critical words do not come from the heart of the wise . . . neither do they reflect the heart of God.

“When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” -Proverbs 10:19

Q: “What is a critical spirit?”

At the Wimbledon tennis championships in England, a judge sits on an elevated chair to the side of the tennis net between two competitors. This judge has both earned the right to be a judge and been invited to be a judge based on a reputation of being accurate and fair-minded. When a ball is served outside the boundary line, the judge calls, “Fault!” These judgment calls are appropriate and appreciated.

However, the person with a critical spirit has not earned the reputation of being accurate or fair-minded. This judge sits uninvited and elevated above others, yelling, “Fault . . . fault . . . fault!” The calls are inappropriate and unappreciated. The Bible is not silent about those with a critical spirit . . . those sitting on a judgment seat, looking down on others.

“Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.” -Romans 14:10

Key Verse to Memorize

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” -Colossians 4:6

Key Passage to Read and Reread

James 3:1–12

Click here for the PDF version of the complete Critical Spirit Resource Guide provided by Hope for the Heart.