• Jack Selcher

Prescription for a Critical Spirit

Sober self-judgment is difficult. We often bounce between two extremes -- pride and self-loathing. On one hand, pride can make us feel like a mixed-breed mutt that dreams it is best in show at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. On the other hand, we can think that if we are not best in show, we are total losers. Self-loathing, more than pride, is the source of a critical spirit. When we feel bad about ourselves, we criticize others who in turn criticize others in an ever-widening circle.

A critical spirit hurts us and others. It does not have to control us. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). We make every thought obedient to Christ by road blocking every critical thought inconsistent with a life shaped by Christ. That is incredibly challenging because criticizing is often so ingrained that it is tougher to uproot than a dandelion.

When a critical spirit possesses us, our minds spawn critical thoughts like thunderstorms emerge on a hot, humid day. We cannot stop our sinful nature from manufacturing critical bullets, but we can choose not to fire them. We must learn to pick off every critical thought as soon as it appears and take it captive to the obedience of Christ. Who are we to judge and criticize those for whom God sent his Son to die?

As we feel progressively better about our own worth, we are less motivated to criticize others. So, how do we calm our own fears and insecurities? We continually center our lives on God and His total sufficiency no matter what. “In God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me?” (Psalm 56:11, NIV). “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold” (Psalm 18:2, NIV). “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NIV). When we are content with who we are in Christ, and that is enough, we build others up instead of tear them down (Ephesians 4:29). #freechristianleadershipresources #freechristiandiscipleshipresources #freeevangelismresources

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