By Andrea Merrell
Don't criticize and speak evil about each other,
dear brothers. James 4:11 TLB
On a scale of one to ten, how critical are you? If you’re like me, some days you do well, while other days you fail miserably.
Being critical and finding fault is part of our carnal nature … the “old man.” If we don’t deal with it on a daily basis it stops up the love of God that has been “shed abroad” (poured out in abundance) in our heart, and stifles the compassion we need in dealing with others. It also causes us to lose our sense of God’s peace and presence.
Criticism comes easy; it’s a reaction, not an action. The action comes when we chose to walk in obedience to God’s Word. In this scenario, that means extending grace to others, accepting and embracing our differences, and realizing that everyone else does not always see, hear, feel, think, speak, or act exactly as we do.
When we fail to get a handle on criticism, it can lead to judging, gossiping, and backbiting. The Bible calls it speaking evil of another. The Message puts it this way: Don't bad-mouth each other, friends.
If a critical spirit is following you around, it’s time to take action. This is a good place to apply the Golden Rule and to be moved with compassion toward others. Ask God for help and make the decision to walk in love.
Remember … compassion trumps criticism.
(Photos courtesy of FreeDigitalImages.net/Stuart Miles/Iamnee.)
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