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Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Criticism -My Judgment- My Fault

It is hard to admit that the average Christian is one of the most penetratingly critical individuals there is on the face of the earth; oftentimes there is nothing in me that resembles Jesus Christ. I must confess that I’m often guilty when it comes to being critical of others. Over the past couple weeks the Lord has shown me that having critical disposition is in stark contrast to His teachings. I have found that when I’m being critical of others…it is impossible for me to enter into communion with the Lord. The truth of the matter is: when I criticize another person, I have basically put myself above the person I’m criticizing. In this self elevation of ego, I have separated myself from another human being and made myself superior to him or her. I should never in any way take this position with another person, for it grieves the Holy Spirit.

When I criticize people I fundamentally wound them. Not only that, I zap their energy to do anything effective for themselves, or the kingdom of God. Such chiding should be left to the Holy Spirit; because the Holy Ghost can convict without wounding or disgracing them. The goal is restoration not annihilation.

The Lord has blessed me with a spirit of discernment…however, I have often used this gift as an occasion to judge others and set myself up as a haughty spectator. It is true that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us the problems and hurts of others...yet, this is only that we may be an intercessor for that person. Our Lord allows no place for judgment and criticism, but discernment and intercession doth abound. Always remember: “the prayers of the righteous availeth much” (James 5:16).

The purpose of Jesus of stating- “Judge not, that ye be not judged"- is so that we can be rivers of running water that pours out onto others. Being judgmental of others takes the focus off God and places it on our ego and our own understanding. When this happens, our source (which is the Lord) dries up, and we become bitter stagnant water.

Matthew 7:2 AMP states: “For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you.” Remember- this is not just some random statement…it is God’s eternal law. If you choose to focus on the shortcomings of others, it will seem that people are always focusing on your shortcomings. Yes, what comes around goes around.

I have found that the real characteristic of a saint is humility. I have also found that the main reason I see hypocrisy and fraud in the world is because these same things often reside in my own heart. I can always see the sin, because I am a sinner. The ultimate test would be- when this life passes and I stand before God- I can say: “God, Judge me as I have judged my fellow man.” Now that would be a bold statement. May God grant me the discernment, grace, and humility to make it so! 

Do you have a tendency to be hyper-critical? 

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