Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When is Criticizing an Acceptable Habit?

              According to Oswald Chambers, in his famous devotional booklet My Utmost for His Highest, criticizing is never an acceptable habit. Ouch! I yield far too often to this habit. But Mr. Chamber’s words encourage me to repent:
              “Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing  up of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only one in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding.”

              “It is impossible to enter into communion with God when you are in a critical temper; it makes you hard and vindictive and cruel, and leaves you with the flattering unction that you are a superior person.”
               “Stop having a measuring rod for other people. There is a always one fact more in every man’s case about which we know nothing . . . I have never met the man I could despair of after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.”

                 Yes, some people are rude. Some even treat me meanly, or with condescension. But that doesn't excuse me criticizing them, for Jesus reminds me that if not for His grace, I’d be like them. Or worse.

        I’d like to develop the better habit of complimenting others, and bring out the best in them. Perhaps I won’t have the opportunity to compliment the very ones who hurt or wrong me. But I can compliment someone. You, for instance:

                I appreciate you taking the time to visit here when you could be elsewhere.                                        
               I appreciate your words of encouragement.         
               I’m glad we’re friends. 
              You make my life better. 
                                                 Thanks for being you!