How can I overcome the spirit of criticism? 


By BibleAsk Team

Criticism – Definition and Causes  

Criticism is defined as the act of giving an unfavorable or severe judgment, comment, etc. According to the Bible the spirit of criticism is the result of our sinful nature (Psalm 51:5; 58:3; Romans 3:23; 5:12). Generally, a person with an unrenewed mind practices criticism and judges others (Romans 12:2). 

In addition to the evil nature, some people tend to harbor a pessimistic or negative attitude towards men. A negative person may have unconfessed sins in his life (Romans 2:1). So, naturally, he doesn’t have peace. This state of mind reveals itself in the form of a critical spirit. Some judge others because of their own insecurities and immaturities (Galatians 4:4; 1 Corinthians 14:20). They adopt a spirit filled with the root of bitterness (Hebrews 12:15). So, the evil treasure of their hearts brings forth criticism (Luke 6:45). 

How to Overcome the Spirit of Criticism?  

1-Walk in humility before God and man. “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:10 also verse 6b). In order to do that, we need to pray: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Psalm 139:23-24). It is important that we would not criticize others “for if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged” (1 Corinthians 11:31). Therefore, let us live by the “Golden Rule” (Matthew 7:9-12). 1

2-Seek the sanctification of the soul by the study of God’s Word and prayer. Sanctification includes both an outward separation from evil and an inward transformation (John 3:3; Romans 6:4,11,13; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15). Paul taught, “present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).  

3-Don’t judge. “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you” (Matthew 7:1,2). We should not judge the motives for “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ” and “shall give account … to God…” (Romans 14:10-13).  We should “not speak evil of one another…. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law…” (James 4:11-12). Remember that God is the only One who can judge fairly because He can read the hearts of men (1 Samuel 16:7; Hebrews 4:12; James 4:11-12; Revelation 19:11).

4-Be filled by the Spirit of God (Ephesians 5:18) for the Holy Spirit is the power that raises people from the power of sin.

5-Dwell on that which is positive. “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8 also Ephesians 4:15-16, 29, 31-32). 

6-Keep your eyes on Jesus the perfect example. “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:2-3).

7-Don’t associate with critical people for “evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33). And remember that the Devil is the “the accuser of our brethren… before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10). Therefore, let us abandon the spirit criticism, which tears down others (Proverbs 11:9; Romans 3:13).

8-Practice kindness. “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). And if we need to make an uplifting criticism, we need to speak “the truth in love” (Ephesians 4;:150). We need to “be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave” us (Ephesians 4:32). 

9-Control the tongue. “If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless” (James 1:26). We should have discretion in speech (verse 19), which reflects God’s grace working in our hearts (Matthew 12:34–37).

10-Encourage others. Let us use our tongues to bless each other. “Let no corrupt word proceed out of” our mouths “but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Ephesians 4:29).

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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