It is all too much to ask, but I just have to. Of myself and of you…
You see I have noticed we are a people of incessent evaluations and assessments. On everything from what not to wear or wear, gas prices, baby names, church and national leadership or lack thereof, approaches to parenting, music, you name it. Our most popular reality shows are the ones in which we can listen to the interpretation of the “specialists” and call in our vote We believe we are entitled to critique and yes, render judgement on everything that passes before our eyes or into our ears. If it were not so we would have very few media outlets, but money depends upon it. We believe we are “thinking critically” and being “discerning”. Is that really the truth? Or could it be we know so little of how God instructed us to live that we are grappling so hard? How much of our daily commentary is just a vent of our personal opinion? How much of it could be considered gossip or even slander? How many people, even those we call friends, would be deeply hurt if they could hear our critical hearts?
I have been thinking on this as I have asked the Holy Spirit to guard my lips and thoughts to a greater extent so I might grow in quiet graciousness. I would hope that when I speak I have something to say of worth that would benefit and encourage others, even when it is the correct kind of reproof. I was thinking how I want to not use Jesus to advance my own interpretations, but have Jesus use me to advance His. Yet another way to point it all to Him and not me if He is my line of absolute. What an uncluttered life that would be…
My constant teacher in this has been my husband. He has the ability to see others all on the same line, not wasting his time to separate them according to whether or not they project a good image, have a big portfolio, wear the right clothes to elongate their short legs, speak too loudly or too soft. He has never wasted his time or effort on trying to be cool, cutting edge or eliciting others respect with his sauve words. When he is pressured into doing so it comes off as terribly awkward and no one believes him anyways! I have come to believe that what he says it is his clueless lack of intuition, discerning abilities and his belief that everyone deserves to have the best believed about them is actually wisdom and authenticity. And I love him for it.
Solomon wrote that “words from a wise man’s mouth are gracious, but a fool is consumed by his own lips. At the beginning his words are folly; at the end they are wicked madness–and the fool multiplies words…Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird of the air may carry your words and a bird on the wing may report what you say…”
2 Replies to “Are You A Critic?”
You raised a good point about being critical of ourselves. That has perhaps been one of my biggest struggles. Ben calls it my gift of conviction that hits me the hardest! Having grace with ourselves and others is God-like and only enabled by Him. I am still growing in all of this and being a mother has me on the fast track!
I completely agree with you. I don’t know how many times I have allowed careless words to come out of my mouth only to regret them minutes later!
Another problem with being too critical is that we criticize ourselves. I know I am all too often doubtful of the job I am doing as a mother, wife and friend. We are our worst critics!
Ben has it right. He may call it clueless, but he is a rare treasure.