A Critical Spirit
15th DECEMBER 2021
Be devoted to tenderly loving your fellow believers as members of one family. Try to outdo yourselves in respect and honour one another. [Romans 12:10 TPT]
Spending time with people exposes us to parts of them we would normally not have access to. This includes the good, the bad and if you’re really close, the ugly. There is a fine line between pulling someone up on their bad behaviour and being critical.
The former seeks not only to point out one’s mistakes but also gives them the tools they need to make the necessary improvements. Whereas the latter points out one’s mistakes but offers no practical advice or supportive feedback.
A submission presented by the University of Leicester defined being critical as “always supporting your arguments with clear factual evidence.” It is, therefore, safe to say that being critical involves keeping a record of wrongs, and that is not the way of love.
If we are going to tenderly love one another, as our opening verse says, then we must do away with the spirit of criticism. Instead of highlighting the shortcomings of our brothers and sisters and sharing them with anyone who will listen, we should exercise discretion and restraint because love covers a multitude of sins.
This is not to say that we sweep things under the rug and enable bad behaviour, No. Love covers a multitude of sins in that it is forgiving. When we act in love, we are more prone to overlook minor offences and, in those instances where we need to confront a fellow brother or sister, we will do so with wisdom (See Matthew 18:15–17).
Thank You, Heavenly Father, that in place of a critical spirit, You have given me a heart of love to correct people in wisdom and not to tear them down, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Further Reading: Philippians 2:3
Prophetic Declaration: Psalms 91