Summary: This is from series I did on Attitudes. I got a lot of ideas form a book by James MacDonald entitled Lord Change My Attitude.
LIFE IS AN ATTITUDE – PICK A GOOD ONE
The Not So Silent Killer
Sunday February 18, 2007
A. According to recent estimates, nearly one in three U.S. adults has high blood pressure, but because there are no symptoms, nearly one third of these people don’t know they have it. In fact, many people have high blood pressure for years without knowing it. Uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart attack, heart failure or kidney failure. This is why high blood pressure is often called the “Silent Killer”.
1. This is a lot more on the lighter side but as I was thinking about silent killers I couldn’t help but think of this Christian comedian named Ken Davis. He does a routine where he talks about people being scared of mice and how easy it is to detect a mouse when they are around but what about spiders? You certainly don’t hear a spider when he is crawling up on you.
B. Today we are at the half way point in this sermons series. So far we have looked at two negative attitudes, complaining and coveting. We have also looked at the two attitudes that need to replace these negative attitudes and those attitudes are Thankfulness and Contentment. Today we are going to explore the third of five bad attitudes and the one we are considering today is anything but a silent killer. It may not be loud, but the reason it is a killer is because it can’t keep quiet.
1. When we talked about coveting I told you that I felt that attitude had caused much ruin in the lives of people in our churches. The attitude we are looking at today has done even more damage. This attitude has not only destroyed people in our churches it has destroyed the churches as well. What is so sad about the effects of this attitude is that many of the churches that it has destroyed are still standing. It’s not as through the doors have been closed for business, in fact in most of these churches the doors are still open, but the life is gone. It is as it was said in 1 Samuel 4:21 NLT She named the child Ichabod (which means “Where is the glory?”), for she said, “Israel’s glory is gone.” The lights are on, worship services and Sunday School still takes place. People still show up but the glory of God is gone.
2. What is it that can cause such devastation in the life of God’s precious churches? One word, CRITICISM. All that churches should be and could be has been taken away from them and many times the single cause is criticism. Needless to say I feel that we are about to embark into a very, very serious subject. One that requires our hearts to be completely open and honest before God so before we go a step further I want us to go before the Lord in prayer and ask for Him to guide us through these troubled waters. (Pray)
Trans. Now let’s do what we have done in every one of these messages and define what this attitude is that we are looking at. Now we might think we already know what criticism is but I challenge all of us to take a closer look because I believe that just as I shared in the attitude of complaining not all critical comments qualify as criticism. So let’s make it clear.
I. CRITICISM – LET’S MAKE IT CLEAR.
Let me give you a one sentence definition of criticism and then I will break it down to explain what I mean. “Criticism is dwelling on the perceived faults of another with no view to their good.” OK so what does this mean? Well let’s look more closely at my definition. First of all:
A. Criticism is negative talk about perceived faults.
1. Let me remind you of something I said in the first message of this series. In that message I said that the difference between complaining and criticism was that complaining dealt with circumstances and situations where as criticism deals with people. The first key in understanding what it means to have a critical attitude is that we are dwelling on “perceived” faults in others. We will deal with this a little more thoroughly later on but how many times have we made judgments about people only to discover that what we perceived to be true about these people was not true?
2. (**I won’t use this is Kevin is here this Sunday)  Some of you who were here then remember that a year or so we had a guy named Kevin who was coming to our church. Many of you see him around town on his three wheeled bike. I had seen Kevin around town for years and always thought he was mentally retarded, but when he began to come here I discovered that he had a very severe motorcycle accident that impaired his motor skills and made him appeal retarded. Now granted Kevin did have some other issues in his life but what I perceived to be true about him was actually false. If we are being critical of what we perceive to be a fault in someone but haven’t taken the time to find out if our perceptions are true we are guilty of this attitude.