I’m beginning to realize that the most draining people to be around are critical people. This past weekend showed me that in many ways. Sadly, I’ll admit that I used to be, and at times still can be, a very critical person myself. It only takes me a few minutes around someone who is criticizing others and their motives/methods/actions for me to realize what an awful and yucky thing criticism is. So, as part of Top Ten Tuesdays at Oh Amanda: 10 reasons to stop being critical.

1. This was the hardest one for me to handle, but it was also what turned me from a critical person to a more loving one: Being critical is a sign of a bitter, selfish heart attitude. That sounds harsh doesn’t it? But it’s so true. The Bible says, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.”

2. It hurts others. Badly. Most of us have been on the receiving end of negative criticism, and we know that it can really wound.

3. It says, “I think I’m better than that person.” Pride doesn’t look good on anyone.

4. It sets a bad example. Next time you’re tempted to criticize others around you children, remember that little kids have big ears.

5. It breeds more criticism. If you have a critical attitude, pretty soon that will affect those around you to be critical as well.

6. It robs you of your joy. You can’t be a happy person if you are too busy looking for the negative.

7. It can cause others to give up. To be honest, I really felt like quitting one of my ministries this weekend after a critical family’s opinion and snubbing really hurt me. I decided to stick with it when I realized they were in the minority, but they were very discouraging. Don’t be the cause of someone quitting.

8. It leaves no room for grace. I don’t know about you, but I receive more grace than I ever deserve everyday from my heavenly Father. Doesn’t it stand to reason that, because of that, I should show grace to those around me?

9.  It gives you the wrong focus. Instead of focusing on that which is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and good, you’re focusing on what is probably not true and definitely not kind. Focus on showing love instead.

10. It keeps you from being a blessing. Over the past few months, I’ve heard more and more moms being critical of other parents and their discipline styles. Let me tell you, it’s not encouraging for me to know that when I have kids in a couple years that those same ladies are going to be whispering behind my back, criticizing me. I’d much rather have them offer to help me than be critical. You could be such a blessing by offering to be a blessing, rather than a hindrance.

Andrew and I were on our back porch looking at the sunset one night last week. He commented on how nice it looked, then mentioned how the junky trailer behind our house ruined the view. I turned to him and said, “I’m choosing to focus on the sunset instead.”

Sunset

Do yourself a favor this week, and anytime you’re tempted to be critical of someone or something, choose to “focus on the sunset” instead. Life is better that way, for you and for others.

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10 Comments on Ten reasons to stop being critical

  1. Christine says:

    Yes! #8 and #10 especially spoke to me. I’ve been on a journey toward grace away from a very judgmental attitude over the last number of years. I just spent too much time as a rule follower and found that churches often kindle that fire, not douse it. Thanks for the great top ten!

  2. Malisa says:

    Great post, Holly! I appreciated the honesty you shared this frustrating, yet important, topic. I really liked what you said about how being critical breeds more criticism. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Caroline says:

    Wow, these points are all really spot on. Thank you for discussing this and the encouragement to seek joy and bless others.

  4. Renee says:

    Great points… ones I need reminded of. It’s so easy to follow my instinct to think critically first instead of giving others the benefit of the doubt. Often I’m just as critical of myself as well!

  5. JDaniel4's Mom says:

    Excellent points! I hate that it doesn’t leave room for grace.

  6. Nickeletta says:

    I need reminders like these all the time… I’m often too critical.

  7. I need to make a copy of this list and post it somewhere. It is sad how easily and quickly I can turn critical in a situation. Thanks!!!

  8. Heather says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I am bookmarking it as a reminder & challenge to replace critical thinking with joyful encouragement.

  9. James says:

    Great list, Holly!
    I was a proud pessimist until about 6 months ago. I took pride in being the realist in the room who could play devil’s advocate and make sure people stayed grounded. But it just doesn’t bring as much value as looking for the good in people. So I’m a passionate convert. Thank you for being an encouragement to me!

  10. Kristy says:

    Thank you for this! Realizing there is a critical spirit that has been taking root and it is scary! The lies our hearts choose to believe can lead us down such dark paths, and these ten points are shining some light as I seek Christ’s help to defeat this!

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