Hold That Criticism

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. –Matthew 7:1-2

Here is a huge challenge: Go on a fast today from criticism. Today, your assignment is not to criticize anybody about anything. Just for 24 hours, even if you have a legitimate criticism, don’t offer it. Most of us are far too critical. We offer lots of grumbling and complaining about issues that frankly don’t make much difference. All of the criticism has a very negative result. Critical people are often unhappy people. The act of criticizing drains positive energy from our lives.

I’ve heard it put this way:

A critical spirit focuses us on ourselves and makes us unhappy. We lose perspective and humor.

A critical spirit blocks the positive creative thoughts God longs to give us.

A critical spirit can prevent good relationships between individuals and often produces retaliatory criticalness.

Criticalness blocks the work of the Spirit of God: love, goodwill, and mercy.

Whenever we see something genuinely wrong in another person’s behavior, rather than criticize him or her directly, or far worse, gripe about him behind his back, we should ask the spirit of God to do the correction needed.

“Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Philippians 2:14). This means that if you’re driving today and someone cuts you off – do not complain. If you get disconnected from your cell-phone call – do not complain. If someone spills split-pea soup on your best shirt – do not complain. Understand and accept, rather than fume and whine. A wise friend once told me that we never know enough about a situation to be truly angry. Think about it.

I have the feeling that you are going to have a very good day!


1. Read and memorize Philippians 2:14.

2. What specific areas of a critical spirit can you work on today – and this week?


Psalm 34:9-15

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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