Criticism is not a gift …

Love, obviously the most important key to living the life Christ has called me to. I can’t begin to understand the scope of His love and the love we are to have for others. But, I’ll save that for another post. And yes, we all know the golden rule. It is pretty obvious that treating someone the way we want to be treated is better than the alternative. But then, there is this one … Romans 12:16

“Agree with each other. Don’t be proud. Be willing to be a friend of people who aren’t considered important. Don’t think that you are better than others.”

I think this is so fresh in my mind and so obvious to me right now because just this morning while N and M were coloring, N leaned over to her brother and said, “That is not coloring, that is scribbling.” I quickly squashed her criticism and reminded her that he is 2 years younger and that he is learning. And, she must encourage him rather than criticize.

How easy it is for me to point out her {N’s} critical spirit. But, do I notice mine?  I am plagued with a critical spirit. I’d like to blame it on insecurity and the feeling of being less qualified or important, but really, when it comes down to it, it is pride. Nothing more, nothing less. And, pride is ugly.

Pride, to me, is the very essence of wanting to keep control of all aspects of life so that one appears to “have it all together”.  Criticizing others helps maintain and upper hand, if you will. An edge. A “well at least I don’t…” excuse.

Isn’t that ugly? So this was my spanking. I don’t desire a critical spirit.  Someone once said “Criticism is not a spiritual gift.” I am going to take it a step further and say it is not a fruit of the Spirit either.  It is hurtful, it divides friends and it creates a chasm between the “haves” and the “have-nots”.

Instead of accepting this as a personality trait that will not change. I choose to replace it with the R E A L fruit of the Spirit {Gal 5:22}.

L O V E

a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person

J O Y

the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying

P E A C E

a state of mutual harmony between people or groups

P A T I E N C E

quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence

K I N D N E S S

quality of being kind

G O O D N E S S

moral excellence; virtue

G E N T L E N E S S

considerate or kindly in disposition; amiable and tender

S E L F – C O N T R O L

control or restraint of oneself or one’s actions, feelings

Just writing this out is a good reminder to me that I have a long way to go. But, I serve a God who has power and can change anything or anyone.

I leave you with this, “God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, his merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:22 {MSG}

Have a grace-filled week!

KC

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3 Responses to Criticism is not a gift …

  1. charis says:

    this is a great reminder for me too. i also find it easy to spot in my kids in their interactions with one another, but then when i see it in myself… ouch. the passage from lamentations that you quoted from at the end is one of my very favorite passages in the bible. thanks for sharing.

    my recent post: randomness

  2. mary beth says:

    Thanks for posting! I’ve been teaching my 3 and 2 yr. old the fruits of the spirit since last semester. As a result, I’m learning them too. More importantly it’s causing me to meditate on it and consider how I can apply them in the day to day grind. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on such a great passage of Scripture!

  3. Ellen says:

    I love this. Replacing it with a fruit…love!
    Words to live by!

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