Summary: Our attides are very valuable in dertiming our outlook, in this the 3rd pf a 3 part series we discover the most "excellent way" to fix one’s attitude, the idea for thies series comes from James MacDonald’s Book, Lord, Change my attitude
Introduction: One of the things Kathy and I like to on Friday evenings is catch a movie. For us, it is a way to relax and unwind. I want you to know Kathy and I have different taste when it comes to movies – I like action and comedies – she on the other hand likes stories and dramas – Movies with heart. (Chick Flicks)
Now while we have different taste in movies we do agree on one thing – we never listen to the critics – you know who I am talking about – the people who are paid to tell us if the movie is good or bad, either giving it 2 thumbs up or four stars or some rating that tells us this is the movie you have to see! It has been our experience the critics don’t see movies the way we see them. In fact there are times we wonder if they ever saw the movie they were reviewing.
Invariably if we like the movie the critics pan it and if we dislike the movie the critics hail it as “cinematic milestone”. Truth of the matter - I do not understand critics!
And yet Critics are all around us.
The restaurant critic
The movie critic
Monday morning quarterbacks
It seems everyone has an opinion on everything.
As we conclude this series of messages on Attitudes, I believe it is appropriate for us to look at one last attitude that we all need to adjust – A critical attitude.
I believe a critical attitude is very common in our culture today. We have become such consumers of our culture that we measure everything against an unattainable standard and thus criticism slips into our life. We need to ask God to help change our attitude, from a critical attitude to an attitude of love.
Some people struggle with criticism more than others.
Maybe you grew up in a home that was forever picking on the imperfections of others and finding fault with everyone and everything. You may see criticism as a normal part of life
Maybe you were criticized yourself by parents or teachers and now that critical spirit is part of your life.
Maybe you find yourself caught up in criticism; not because you want to be critical, but because those you work with or socialize with are critical and you find yourself dragged into the fray.
If any of these situations apply to you, I want you to know you can escape the criticism trap, but it takes the help of the Holy Spirit convicting you and then transforming your attitude from criticism to an attitude of love.
Before we go any further in our message I believe we must come up with a definition of criticism so we can get a handle this troubling attitude.
Not all Criticism is Bad
There is destructive and constructive criticism
Constructive criticism is designed to help another person.
Hebrews 10:24 let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds
The word spur carries with it the idea of stimulating a person on to greater growth. Constructive Criticism is designed to make us better. Last week during our Renewal Weekend, the elders asked Bob Russell and his companions to evaluate our services and campus with the idea of making improvements – their constructive criticism is designed to help us fulfill our mission of reach lost people for Christ and bring them to maturity. Their suggestions will spur us on toward a better ministry.
Maybe you have been in a situation where you have faced constructive criticism – a job review by a supervisor designed to help you improve, or a maybe a close friend points out a flaw that you are unaware of yet is hampering you witness or effectiveness.
When I was in Bible college, Our professors would video tape our sermons and then we would o to his office and watch them as he pointed our errors and noted our strong points – while that criticism at times was humbling it was designed to make us better communicators.
If you are on the receiving end of some constructive criticism, be gracious with the person’s advice and be honored that they care enough to seek out your best interest.
The criticism we must avoid is the destructive type brought about by our negative feelings toward others.
To know if you are involved in that kind of critical behavior let’s look at a definition of negative criticism
Destructive Criticism: dwelling upon the perceived faults of others with no view to their good.
BREAKDOWN THAT DEFINITION
Perceived faults – the reason I focused on perceived faults is because my perception of what is wrong with you may not be accurate. There may be circumstances that I don’t understand or you may be going through a situation I am not aware of that is cause you to act a certain way. In reality we can become very critical of others and be totally wrong in our opinion, simply because we do not have all the facts.