If we were to simply judge the most common spiritual gift that exists in the western church, some might say it’s the spiritual gift of Criticism.
However, I’ve searched the scriptures. Criticism is actually NOT a spiritual gift. Can you believe it?
The truth is, the more critical the church has become, the more closely we represent the Pharisees and Sadducees rather than Jesus and his disciples, or the early church for that matter.
The constant need to point out what is WRONG in others and what is SINFUL in the world comes from a critical spirit that resides in us…but it’s not from the Holy Spirit.
Social Media Makes It Easy
Social media is our new playground to affirm our criticism. It’s an easy place to complain, criticize, and “vent” what’s going on in our lives and the world around us. Most of us don’t think twice about posting and tweeting something that we would hesitate to say to anyone face to face.
Paul, when writing to the church in Ephesus, calls us to something more.
“Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.” Ephesians 4:29
For whatever reason, the modern church feels that it’s their primary responsibility to point out what is wrong with everything and everyone in the world. Our call to share the gospel…the good news of Jesus…has somehow become a call to talk about everything that is bad, wrong, and sinful in the world.
There are far too many Christians that are known for what they are AGAINST rather than what they are FOR.
What’s our message to the world?
Faith, Hope, and Love
We have a message of HOPE supported by our FAITH and fueled by LOVE.
We are called to speak LIFE and BUILD UP others around us. We’re all recipients of the FRUIT of the spirit “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22), and therefore our SPIRIT should always match our words.
Jesus tells us that what we say is an overflow of what resides in our hearts (Matthew 12:34). So if our words are constantly filled with complaints, criticisms, and negative opinions of others, it’s not because of what’s on the outside that’s a problem. It’s a problem that resides IN OUR HEARTS.
“Wise words satisfy like a good meal; the right words bring satisfaction. The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.” Proverbs 18:20-21
Does criticism flow out of a critical spirit in your heart? If so, you can change it.
Ask God to give you the ability to speak LIFE into others, and to speak words today that are good, helpful, and encouraging to those who hear the
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