Matthew 7:1-6 says “Refuse to be a critic full of bias toward others, and judgment will not be passed on you. For you will be judged by the same standard that you have used to judge others. The measurement you use on them will be used on you. Why would you focus on the flaw in someone else’s life and yet fail to notice the glaring flaws of your own? How could you say to your friend, ‘Let me show you where you’re wrong,’ when you are guilty of even more? You are being hypercritical and a hypocrite! First acknowledge your own ‘blind spots’ and deal with them, and then you’ll be capable of dealing with the ‘blind spot’ of your friend. Who would hang earrings on a dog’s ear or throw pearls in front of wild pigs? They will only trample them under their feet and then turn around and tear you to pieces!” TPT
It is so easy to point the finger, complain about what the other person is doing or saying. We do this for two reasons 1.) We do not want to admit that we are harboring guilt about our behavior or wrong thinking. 2.) Pride steps in and we teardown to build ourselves up.
Opinions are wild, no one holds their tongue, thinks it through or fully investigates the backstory before offering up their “right thinking”. Why are we more interested in telling someone what we think instead of gaining insight and understanding through listening and learning. As children of God we should be more compassionate. Integrity and respect have fallen out of style. Loud, obnoxious, sarcastic even hateful talk and attitudes are the norm. Relationships are being destroyed because of criticism, suspicion, and judgement.
God is the only one who has the right to condemn, because He knows the backstory and sees the heart of the person or persons. When we pass judgment on someone we are dangerously close to setting ourselves up as God in their life.
“For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” Romans 12:3 NASB
In the verse before Paul tells us we build our faith and knowledge through the “renewing of our mind” let me put the entire verse before you “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NASB
Do you find yourself always seeing the situation from the glass is half empty or full? The half full personality tends to see the good in every situation and more quickly adjust to challenging situations and people. The half empty personality tends to see what is wrong first, they can be more controlling, generous in sharing their negative opinions and outlook with others. Both can be tricked by the devil; however, the half empty personality is more easily persuaded to be critical, judgmental…I have been known to call them the Eeyore in the group. Let me be clear these two personalities can both be wrong or right given a situation. I should say they can both be lured into wrong thinking by the devil. Satan sends demonic spirits to place critical thoughts and judgments into people’s minds, that is why it is so important to continually take captive any thought that is not in line with God’s Word. (See 2 Corinthians 10:5 and Philippians 4:8)
Judgment and criticism are a warning of a growing problem…pride. God’s Word reminds us that we are to be ever so careful of not becoming “high minded”. We must always remember not to have an exaggerated opinion of ourselves. Any good thing comes out of and through God we are just the recipients, His ambassadors of love and grace.
“My beloved friends, if you see a believer who is overtaken with a fault, may the one who overflows with the Spirit seek to restore him. Win him over with gentle words, which will open his heart to you and will keep you from exalting yourself over him. Love empowers us to fulfill the law of the Anointed One as we carry each other’s troubles. If you think you are too important to stoop down to help another, you are living in deception.” Galatians 6:1-3 TPT
Here God is teaching us how we are to respond to the weakness we see in others. Through love and understanding we are to train ourselves to not let pride cloud our vision and to not be critical of others.
I was raised in a home with critical, highly judgmental parents they continuously compared our family with others to build themselves up. Sadly, as children we did not understand how destructive this kind of thinking was. I remember my mother speaking under her breathe as a woman walked by criticizing her appearance. Those judgments extended to members of our family and their friends.
Growing up I had a best friend she lived across the street, the family was a wonderful, God loving family who welcomed me into their home as if I were one of their own children. My friend was diagnosed with epilepsy as a young girl, seizures were common and daily. Because of all the medications she was required to take her speech and physical appearance was drastically affected. I dearly loved her, and it did not really matter to me that her disability made her different. Even though I was not a Christian God had already given me His eyes to see and love people. One day as I was getting ready to go over her house my mother made a hurtful destructive comment “She is only friends with you because no one else would be friends with her.” This broke my heart…she, and her family as I look back knew what my life in this destructive atheist home was like, God had given them eyes of love for me as well.
This view of life was extremely hard to break, even today I must renew my mind in God’s thinking continually and not what I believed was acceptable growing up. So, I seek to see all people through God’s eyes and love with His love, serve as He leads me. Thank you Jesus!… for not giving up on me and using me to share His love with those broken and lost.
Joyce Meyer says “If you have an ability and a command from God to love others, but instead of doing that, you judge and criticize them, you have taken the holy thing (love) and cast it before dogs and hogs (demon spirits). You have opened a door for them to trample on the holy things and turn and tear you to pieces.”
Our words and actions define who we are, they need to be “in balance” with God’s ways and will. We are living in a world “out of balance”, biblically speaking it is only going to get worse before God’s next step in His plan comes to pass. We are His warriors, battling in a broken and fallen world where wrongdoing is exalted, and love and compassion is thrown to the dogs and hogs.
We all make mistakes, all have weaknesses…Ephesians 4:32 says we are to “forgive one another and to show mercy to one another just as God for Christ’s sake has done for us.”
Even within the body of Christ we can be led astray from our mission to love people to God. Our human nature has one ear tuned to the world and it can quickly lead us out of balance.
“While Jesus was at the Passover Feast , the number of his followers began to grow, and many gave their allegiance to him because of all the miraculous signs they had seen him doing! But Jesus did not yet entrust himself to them, because he knew how fickle human hearts can be. He did not need anyone to tell him about human nature, for he fully understood what man was capable of doing.” John 2:23-25 TPT
Proverbs 4:23 says “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
Only Jesus can truly see the heart of man, here he warns us that our human nature affects the way we see and respond to others. It also is telling us that we must put every opinion and action to the test before adopting it into our belief. That test is as simple as the acronym found on those bracelets worn some years ago. W what, W would, J Jesus, D do?
We must put our trust in Jesus. This will open our heart for the Holy Spirit to let you know when you become out of balance. We gain discernment when we stay in the Word, spend time worshipping, praying and praising God for what He has done and is doing even when our human nature is clouding our ability to see God’s work. Testify and remember all He has done this will open your heart!
One last thought…”Winsome words pour from a heart of wisdom, adding value to all you teach. Nothing is more appealing than speaking beautiful, life-giving words. For they release sweetness to our souls and inner healing to our spirits.” Proverbs 16:23-24 TPT
Much of this blogging came from her book, “Battlefield of the Mind”, for me it is a regular read and a teaching tool used for breaking strongholds. Thank you Joyce for your insight and love for all God’s people.