Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | January 11, 2021

Leaving Criticism Behind

“And he (Saul) said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Acts 9:5 (ESV)

Can honestly say I’ve never given much thought to those seemingly effortless words spewing out of my mouth – criticism  against our body – the body of Christ.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this nitpicking of what a fellow believer said or didn’t say.  I’m positive I’m not the only one who has felt the need to critique someone’s attire, actions or attitude.  And while we probably never uttered a word to their face, we’ve been steeped in our own judgment and preferences of men and women who faithfully serve our God.

When we tear down one of our own, we are tearing down all of us.  We can’t kick the leg without pain resonating throughout the entire body. We can’t wound one without its impact far reaching to us all. What is done against one of the body of Christ is done against our Jesus.

If we listen carefully to Jesus’ words to Saul, the great persecutor of the church, we finally get it. Saul’s passion and drive ultimately resulted in rage and hatred. His persistence to eliminate Jesus followers was paramount yet Saul found himself facedown blinded by the light of Truth – a truth he could no longer deny.   These very words from Jesus (Acts 9:5) quickened the heart of Saul who thought he was championing the right cause, the right way.

Perhaps we’ve landed there as well – thinking what we are saying and doing is right without regard for others.  Can easily count the moments when words sent deep darts aimed at the heart of those we should have been encouraging. Now don’t get me wrong here – accountability is critical for our spiritual growth.  We should actively spur each other on and be iron that sharpens iron.  Speaking truth in love (Ephesians 4:15) aims towards reconciliation, restoration and growth.  Speaking our mind and unloading criticism births rejection, woundedness and disunity.

Today is a great day to examine the true motive behind our critical words against others.  Does it stem from an unhealthy insecurity within ourselves?  Do we find great pleasure in spotlighting our idea of perceived lack in others?  Are we genuinely concerned and interceding for those we easily find fault in? Do we fail to recognize our tearing down the body of Christ is ultimately targeted at Jesus?

Sweet friends, we can be agents of change if we purposefully pursue prayer versus critique.  We can build up the body of Christ if we engage in accountability versus alienation.  We can demonstrate God’s love to our world if we first love our brothers and sisters in Christ versus judgement (John 13:35). Let’s make 2021 the year we pray, encourage and strengthen – we need each other more now than ever before.

“Father examine our hearts and expose any areas of criticism targeted against the body of Christ and others.  Help us to be reflectors of Your love and stand as intercessors versus critics.”


For His Glory

Janet Martin
TRBC Women’s Life

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