The Real Fight - Words and Criticisms - Part 7
What is CRITICISM?
It is when one makes assessments and determinations. Criticism and critiques come onto the scene when we respond, interpret and make critical judgements!
Criticism forms come in comments, when remarks and pronouncements are presented. Sometimes it is hidden and disguised as gossip!
Criticisms given and received are when an awareness rises up. They can be in a form of judgement, or feelings and impressions is then made. Most common form comes when an opinion and beliefs are stated and this usually comes with an attitude!
More expressions of criticism flow from a point of view, a conclusion, assessments or when determinations have been made. Another form is when or after an inspection, review or evaluation has been made. Simple meaning, criticism is the act of passing judgement as to the merit of something or someone!
Whether we are aware of it or not we live in a world of constant judgements and criticisms. We are under scrutiny of others in their thoughts and under their watch. We are under the appraisal of those around us and our relationships. Criticism is tough, conversations can be difficult to navigate through, where our actions, our work, ministry, life and so on are under another persons microscope.
The very word criticism doesn't show up much in our bibles, if at all. But the concept surely does with terms like rebuke, reproof, correction, admonishment and instruction. Our words are breath, the breath of life. We are formed by God and have His breath of life in us! 3 times breath is mentioned in our bibles.
Genesis 2:7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust of the dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, So that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
John 20:22 And with that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit".
This is where we should take great care with our words of criticism. Our words and the production of them is the caution!
Problems arise when we give our criticisms, even Godly criticisms, it is done in a wrong breath or wrong spirit, and becomes harsh or is just plain wrong. Not all criticisms are created equal. Some criticisms are lacking wisdom, relationship, mercy or are aimed at tearing down. They can be insensitive and void on constructive grace. Not many of you should become teachers.
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. James 3:1
Criticism has a bad reputation. It is hard to take and even harder to not be afraid of it. Basically, no one likes getting criticized. Again in James, he tells us not all should become teachers, because you will experience greater judgement. Teachers challenge us to become better. We are likely to dwell on and remember the negative criticism in our lives more than the positive praises. However not all criticizers are created equal and some should not even get a seat at the table!
Wisdom tells us, decide who gets to criticize you, instruct you and speak into your lives! Common sense tells us, anything worth doing attracts both admiration and criticism. You are bound to take a dent or two in your armor here and there. Know this, there will be criticizing trolls out there, but don't let that stop you!
Avoid avoidance is to do nothing, to say nothing and is to be nothing. Avoiding criticism is what makes you weaker not the criticism in itself! Consider what is constructive about criticism. Do not think of it as exposing flaws, mean or insulting. Let the words of criticism feed you and not your insecurities! Know this...the moment we hear the words of criticism we feel the sting! How you react can mean the difference between just a sting and swelling from the sting. Key is not to react, overreact and not get over emotional. Sometimes we see with our ears and hear with our eyes!!
Criticisms goal should have the aim of growth and building up with "Constructive Grace"! One must criticize with a humble heart and should always have a healthy dose of encouragement. One should be as clear as possible, gentle and patient.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 1 Corinthians 13:14