Summary: Christ teaches us that we need to be careful about how we pass judgment on other people.

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Overcoming a Critical Spirit

Griffith Baptist Church – 2/8/08

A.M. Service

Text: Matthew 7:1-6

Key verse:

The Introduction

As much as 77% of everything we think is negative and counterproductive and works against us. People who grow up in an average household hear “No” or are told what they can’t do more than 148,000 times by the time they reach age 18. Result: Unintentional negative programming.

Shad Helmstetter in Homemade, Jan., 1987

It is said that when the British and French were fighting in Canada in the 1750s, Admiral Phipps, commander of the British fleet, was told to anchor outside Quebec. He was given orders to wait for the British land forces to arrive, then support them when they attacked the city. Phipps’ navy arrived early. As the admiral waited, he became annoyed by the statues of the saints that adorned the towers of a nearby cathedral, so he commanded his men to shoot at them with the ships’ cannons. No one knows how many rounds were fired or how many statues were knocked out, but when the land forces arrived and the signal was given to attack, the admiral was of no help. He had used up all his ammunition shooting at the “saints.” Our Daily Bread, October 6

This portion of Scripture is often misused. It is not against all judgment and discernment:

1. Matthew 18 prescribes the church as having to judge sin in certain instances (see also 1st Cor. 5:1-13 and 2nd Cor. 2:6-7)

2. 1 Corinthians 2:15 - But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.

3. Romans 14:3 - Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

There are times when we are called upon to make judgments, but they are in the right context and the right spirit.

Here, Christ is talking about judging unfairly

He is talking about a critical spirit

We are going to look at this topic Jesus is talking about in three areas, caution about a critical spirit, cure for a critical spirit and lastly concerning a contemptuous spirit

Transitional Statement: Somebody said that warnings are like the red warning light on the dashboard of the car. You can either stop and deal with the trouble, or break out the light.

Jesus is very careful to warn us for our own good so we can deal with the trouble.


1. Caution About A Critical Spirit – 7:1-4

A. The Peril of Spiritual Pride – 1:1

i. A little boy came to his mother, saying, "Mamma, I am as tall as Goliath; I am nine feet high." "What makes you say that?" asked the surprised mother. "Well, I made a little ruler of my own and measured myself with it, and I am just nine feet high!" There are many people who follow the little boy’s method, measuring themselves by some rule of their own.

ii. The same word used in John 3:17 - For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

iii. Condemnation, lifting oneself up over another in criticism

iv. This kind of judging only comes from pride; that one is better able to judge another

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