Fix a critical spirit
Last updated 3/4/2020 at 12:44am
It seems like everyone is a critic these days, and we’ve all faced painful criticism at some points in our lives. Today I want to challenge you to see if you have developed what is called a “critical spirit.” That’s when you just can’t seem to help but look at everyone else with a critical eye. Following are some thoughts to consider:
A critical spirit can be just as destructive as a critical comment.
You may never actually utter a negative criticism to another person, but deep within you there may be a spirit of criticism regarding some of the people in your life. And it may be sucking the joy out of your life.
We all know the people in our churches or our lives who think they have a spiritual gift of being critical. And we also know that they tend to be the least joyful people we know. A critical spirit may be the root of a life devoid of joy.
Jealousy is often a cause of a critical spirit.
Jealousy is one of the leading causes of a critical spirit. When an individual thinks life isn’t fair because they lack the blessings that others may be enjoying, they may resent God as well as the person enjoying the blessing.
Comparison is often a cause of a critical spirit.
We tend to measure our successes in life by comparing them with the successes of others. People with a critical spirit may try to elevate their opinion of themselves by degrading the people around them. They may think, “I’m not perfect, but at least I’m better than so-and-so.”
Or they may acknowledge the successes of others, but impugn their motives by accusing them of only doing it for the glory, the money or the power. Or, they may dismiss others by believing they are just fakes.
A critical spirit seldom leads to great accomplishments.
President Theodore Roosevelt, like all great presidents, was the constant target of critics who seemed to question just about everything he sought to accomplish. In response to his unrelenting critics he said the following:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
The cure for a critical spirit is love.
When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus said, “Love the Lord our God with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind and all our strength.” And then he said, the second great commandment is that we are to “Love our neighbors as ourselves.”
Let me suggest that if you work on your love for God and the people around you, you may find the path to victory over a critical spirit.