Thursday, April 19, 2012

Criticism


Today's blog deals with replacing a critical attitude. Remember, we dealt with a complaining attitude a few blogs ago, do you remember the important difference between being critical and complaining? Well, let me give a quick refresher, complaining always deals with being negative toward circumstances, while being critical always deals with being negative toward people.


Here we go say this in a sentence: 
A continuously critical attitude toward those around me will consume all that is healthy and joy-producing in my life.


A farmer stood by the road one day and observed a large wagon filled with household goods moving toward him. Dust flew as the wagon pulled to a stop and the driver shouted, "We're  moving from Brownsville to Jonestown. How much farther is it?"
"About thirty miles, said the farmer.
"And what kind of people shall we expect to find there?" asked the traveler. 
"Well, what kind of people did you leave behind in Brownsville?"
"Oh, they were so negative and so cheerless, so deceptive and so ungrateful, just a godless bunch, all of them. That's the main reason we are moving. What kind of people will we find in Brownsville? 
" The very same kind, I'm sorry to say, said the farmer.

This story shows that if we carry a critical attitude in our hearts it won't matter where we go, all people will be the same---because a critical attitude perceives how we experience reality.

As James MacDonald puts it, "The way we look at a matter, the attitude that we choose, has a direct bearing on how we experience reality."

MacDonald asks if the reader is familiar with the words of Jesus that deals with a critical attitude? He points to Matthew 7:3, where Jesus says, "Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice that log that is in your own eye.?

Wow, we may be walking around with a log in our own eye (being critical of others), while at the same time we are  looking at the speck in someone else's eye.

MacDonald's definition of criticism really helps us to understand this ugly (sinful) attitude: Criticism is dwelling upon the perceived faults of another with no view to their good.

Christian, if you find yourself having harsh and negative opinions of others, if you find yourself quick to find fault with others, if you find yourself falling into criticism, there is hope! Go to God in prayer, confess to God your attitude of criticism. Then be aware of those times in your life when you are being critical---I always counsel others that we need to be "aware" of our blindsides before we can get into cooperation with God to make a change.


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