Summary: A critical spirit is An obsessive attitude of criticism and fault-finding, which seeks to tear others down The person with a critical spirit usually dwells on the negative, seeks for flaws rather than good
The Critical Spirit
Illustration: Guilty as sin! It happened just a few years ago. The banks in New Jersey had been robbed systematically, one after the other. What made the robber stand out was his politeness. He just gave the tellers a note which said, "Please place your money in this bag. Thank you." The newspapers called him the GENTLEMAN BANDIT. The widespread publicity led to a very unlikely arrest - the suspect was a Catholic priest. His church was appalled but stood beside him, saying they knew he could not be the bandit. They signed petitions, held protest marches and came up with his bail. But the police were certain they had their man. All of the eyewitnesses positively identified him. And the news media dug into his past, to find that in a previous church he had left under a cloud because of financial irregularities in the parish. For a priest he had a pretty expensive lifestyle - his own apartment and a fast car. His church was probably standing up for him because otherwise they looked like dupes. As I watched the story unfold on the news, I was positive this priest had pulled a fast one. He probably had a sociopath personality so he could rob banks and preach the next Sunday without feeling any guilt. No one outside his congregation was standing up for this guy. But then a funny thing happened. The REAL Gentleman Bandit was caught red-handed. As it turned out, he was the spitting image of the priest. It’s just that he WASN’T the priest. The priest was released, his church threw him a big party, and the news media and I felt a little sheepish. Source: Rev. David Holwick First Baptist Church Ledgewood, New Jersey
We must careful and merciful we all need to be in our judgments. We may be wrong! Even when we are right we can still be wrong in our response. Are we doing so with a critical spirit or a merciful spirit?
What Exactly is a Critical Spirit?
An obsessive attitude of criticism and fault-finding, which seeks to tear others down The person with a critical spirit usually dwells on the negative, seeks for flaws rather than good.
“Constructive criticism." The only criticism that is ever constructive is that which is expressed in love to "build up," not to tear down — it is always expressed face-to-face, never behind their back.
Imperative that we deal with the critical spirit because it is:
1.Destructive to our walk, witness, and our world.
2.Harmful to our relationship with God as an unforgiving, unloving , and critical attitude toward another person.
3.Harmful to our witness because the world is watching us
4.It is harmful to our families, are churches, and our workplaces.
5. Few things do as much damage and cause as much dissension within marriages, churches and workplaces as a critical tongue and attitude.
Jesus our Lord, Savior, and Teacher gives us some instructions concerning the critical spirit in Luke 6:37-42.
Read Luke 6: 37-42
I. V’s 37-38: Jesus gives us a Warning against having
a critical spirit.
II. V’s 39-40: Jesus gives us a warning against listening to
those who have a critical spirit.
III. V’s 41- 42: Jesus gives us an illustration of the
foolishness of having a critical spirit.
I. Jesus Gives a warning against a critical spirit
Jesus begins, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will but not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."
This statement "do not judge" many believe that Jesus was saying that we should never make any kind of judgment or evaluation about right or wrong in other people’s lives.
This is often carried to ridiculous extremes in our tolerant culture. I once heard of an example of this when on a jury with a woman said after hours of deliberation that she could never vote to convict the woman on trial, even though she was clearly guilty, because the Bible says, "Judge not, lest you be judged."
We know this from the Bible that Jesus was not forbidding us from making necessary evaluations about right or wrong or from being public about them when necessary.
1.The Bible says we are to recognize and expose false
teachers - that certainly requires that we make a
2. The Bible also says that we are to deal with sin when we
see it in the church, which certainly requires evaluation
and judgment also.
3. The Bible says we are to discipline believers who
Continue to willfully live a life of sin - that requires
making a judgment.
A.Jesus forbids a critical, fault finding evaluation of others.
B.Why? This attitude tends to hurt rather than to heal.
C.Jesus exhorts us to be very careful and be very loving in our evaluation or judgment of others.