Christ and Criticism.
by Nick Bishop
The Bible clearly tells us not to judge or criticise others. Yet, the society we live in today is full of judgement and critique.
Though critique is a healthy part of development in the pursuit of truth, in this technological age we see that criticism lurks everywhere. The media loves to build people up and then at the drop of a hat, pull them down, and destructive gossip has always been a blight upon the human race. With the press of a button, the use of a pen or careless talk, an ill-timed or unkind word can destroy someone’s reputation in an instant.
What makes us judge as a species? Some of it is born out of jealousy and insecurity, not to mention those who sadly, enjoy putting others down. Others criticise because they do not know any different.
While it is noble and right to criticise wrongdoing, we often notice the speck in another’s eye yet, we disregard the plank in our own. In other words, we are quick to point out the shortcomings of others, yet, we choose, to ignore our own.
We make judgements about many things on a daily basis and this is part of human reasoning. Jesus taught that we should make the right judgements, and we all have an opinion on what we think is right or wrong. However, we must be careful that our judgement isn’t solely targeted at individuals, groups, etc, or, we develop a critical spirit that never builds others up, neither words of life or hope.
Low self-esteem sets in when people are isolated through hate or silenced unfairly. Many isolate themselves because of unkind words, and in extreme cases, nervous breakdowns can lead to mental illness or suicide.
Satan loves negative thinking that can lead to hurtful words against those around us. This is why as Christians, whenever possible, we must be mindful and realise the importance of positive and negative words. Of course, everyone has opinions and we all debate and Christians are no different. As Ambassadors for Christ, however, we must reflect a Godly attitude in how we speak and address people and importantly, in our actions too.
It has been said, ‘Hurt people, hurt people’, so therefore, we must speak in a non-judgemental, loving and encouraging way. If our words are met with resistance, then hopefully, we have at least planted a positive seed. Then, maybe, this seed, will grow and blossom, leading to a better mindset and God willing, a commitment to Jesus.
We must never cease to pray either – to pray for the victim of criticism and for those doing the criticism. Prayer is a major tool in the Christians armoury, in all situations, and it is our hotline to the creator himself, who through Jesus Christ, can make the impossible, possible.
If you happen to be a victim of criticism, or even a constant critic, who realises, they have a problem, help is available. If you are a Christian, speak to God, your Pastor, or even friends in the church. Other types of help, include, your GP, social worker, charities, etc. What you tell them will be treated in the highest form of confidentiality.
Finally, scripture says the following:
Hebrews: 10:25 “Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but, encouraging one another and all the more, as you see the day, draw near”.
Proverbs 27:6 “Better is an open rebuke, than hidden love. Faithful are the words of a friend; profuse are the kisses of an enemy”.
Hebrews 10:24 “And let us consider how to stir up, one another, to love, and good works”.
God bless you xxx.
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