Is criticizing a believer dangerous? What are the Sin and Dangers of Criticizing a Believer? What does the bible say about judging others? Ask yourself these probing questions if you struggle with a critical spirit. Lately, believers have a hard time reading the Bible. First of all, we are trying to read in a year, which is too fast to understand what he wants to tell us.
Second, we have a hard time reading about the sins on the part of the patriarchs, especially King David. Above all, the greatest difficulty has been our own hearts.
Let’s pause right there. A critical spirit is one of the greatest struggles every believer has. The dangers of criticism are many because our hearts long for acceptance, companionship, and tender loving care. Not only this, but it is simply a sin.
- Matthew 7 is famous for verse one: ” Judge not, that ye be not judged .”
- James 4:11-12 says, “Brothers, do not speak ill of one another. There is only one legislator and judge who can save and destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?
How to control the dangers of criticizing a believer
Because this problem is so destructive that we must constantly work on it, we want to talk about the dangers of criticizing a believer and how to overcome them. Here are some probing questions to ask yourself if you struggle with a critical spirit:
- First, who do I criticize more (either in my thoughts or in words)? Not really. Get out a pen and paper and find a safe place to figure this out.
- What am I most critical of that person about? Write them down. Just to start, if you need to get down to business with yourself and that person.
- Am I guilty of doing the same things? This is really the crux of overcoming criticism. If we are honest, we do the same things. Sometimes exactly the same things. Sometimes the same general as being lazy or selfish. Self-righteousness distorts and deceives us into thinking that we are better than the person we are judging. “Therefore you are without excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in judging another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the same things” ( Romans 2:1 ).
- Am I jealous of this person? Sometimes jealousy can fuel our criticism. Not all the time, but it doesn’t hurt to examine our hearts for this horrible sin.
- “Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? Before his own master he stands or falls” ( Romans 14:4 ).
The dangers of criticizing a believer by giving and receiving godly opinions: sharpening each other with your words
- “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Criticism is something most of us like to shy away from. Naturally, we want to avoid difficult conversations where our actions, motives, or ministries are put under someone else’s microscope.
At the same time, many of us don’t like to share criticism or criticism with others because we don’t want to appear critical or risk hurting someone’s feelings.
While it may seem unnatural, I want to suggest that giving and receiving godly criticism is a necessary element in the life of healthy relationships and churches. If we intend to help people grow in godliness, but we can’t give godly criticism, we won’t end up helping them very much.
God uses his people to speak truth to one another in love, including critical truth. If you lack this element in your discipleship relationships, you are like a shepherd without a staff.
What does the dangers of criticizing a believer imply?
The word ” criticize ” doesn’t appear much in our Bibles, but the concept certainly does. Terms like a rebuke, correction, admonition, and instruction capture the same idea.
- Here is my chance to define godly criticism: giving a corrective assessment of another person and their service to the Lord with the intention of helping that person grow in faithfulness to God.
Here we focus on giving and receiving godly criticism in the context of a Christian relationship. This can be between a husband and wife, friends, church members, or church staff members.
We will also emphasize that we are talking about pious criticism. This is important because not all critics are pious. Some critics are satanic.
Some people criticize inspired by the flesh of sin ( 1 Cor 3:3 ) that lacks spiritual wisdom ( James 3:14-16 ) and does nothing but hurt others ( Galatians 5:15 ). Often, this ungodly criticism aims to bring others down and elevate oneself to appear “spiritual” ( Lk 18:11-14; Prov 30:32 ). This callous attack lacks constructive grace and leaves people hurt instead of helped.
How to criticize a believer in a Godly way
To help us avoid giving such criticism, we’d like to share some suggestions on how we should give and receive Godly criticism.
1. Criticizing a believer in a Godly way must have a goal of growth
The primary goal in any Christian relationship should be to help us grow in Christ ( Ephesians 4:14-15 ).
This means that criticism must be aimed at building up, not tearing down ( 2 Cor 13:10 ).
So when you speak, prayerfully consider how your words can give constructive grace that will help others mature in Christ (Ephesians 4:29).
Show them how your correction, if applied, can help them better reflect God’s glory (Matthew 5:16).
2. To criticize a believer in a pious way must be with humility
Pride delights in criticizing others. So if you’re excited to dole out criticism, it could be a sign that pride guides your heart.
The best way to grow in humility is to take time to thank God for the many ways he has graciously corrected you.
Rehearse how the gospel is good news for you and be moved anew by God’s grace with you ( Ephesians 2:1-5 ).
This will help you get the log out of your own eye before you help someone else get the speck out ( Matthew 7:1-5 ).
3. Piously criticizing a believer should be to encourage
Criticism should almost always be served with a healthy dose of encouragement. This is not a psychological trick to avoid hurt feelings; rather, it is a way of affirming that God is at work in them, despite their need to keep growing.
- For example, when our staff gives me feedback on my leadership or preaching, I need them to help me see both what needs to change and what I need to keep doing. Pointing out the evidence of grace along with areas for improvement will make your critical conversations even more helpful.
Consider what you should say before you say it ( Prov. 29:20 ). This will help you pick out the sweet stuff and get to the heart of what you need to communicate. Ask yourself in prayer:
- What is the main problem I need to address?
- What do I hope they walk away from our conversation, remembering?
- What really needs to be said, and what can be overlooked?
This front-end work will serve both you and the person you’re up against.
5. Piously criticizing a believer has to be clear.
When you criticize, be as clear as possible. Are you talking about a sin problem or a personality problem? Is this a big deal or something that could become a big deal? One way to provide more clarity is to use examples.
- For example, don’t just say, “you’re rude.” But you could try saying it like this: “ I know you have good ideas, but I’ve noticed that you tend to interrupt people when they’re talking. I’m not sure if you’ve caught yourself doing this, but it can make people feel like you don’t need to hear what they have to say .” Being clear in your criticism will help ensure you get to the heart of the matter.
6. You must be kind when you criticize a believer in a godly way.
Wrap your words of correction with sweetness. Love seeks to communicate the truth in a way that can be easily swallowed. It is a mark of spiritual maturity to gently help people grow in spiritual health ( Galatians 6:1 ).
Humility should not be seen as a weakness but as a heart posture that God can use to lead others to repentance ( 2 Timothy 2:24-26 ).
One way to grow in gentleness is to think about how you would want someone to speak to you if you were giving the same criticism ( Matthew 7:12 ).
- How can you show them honor while still helping them grow ( Romans 12:10 )?
By considering how they will listen to what you say, you can shape your words to deliver them smoothly.
7. Be patient when piously criticizing a believer.
“Love is patient” ( 1 Cor 13, 4 ). Remember that some habits or sins take time to correct, especially when they are deep-seated problems of the heart. Look at your long-term relationship and ask God to help you remember his patience with you ( Ex 34:6 ).
This will keep you humble before God and patient with those you are helping to correct.
8. Be faithful and supportive when criticizing a believer in a godly way.
Ruth Graham once said of her husband: “My job is to love Billy; it is God’s job to change it.” There is much wisdom in that statement. While we can bring the truth to a heart, only God can cause that seed to grow ( 1 Cor 3:6 ).
What this means to us is that if we’re not praying for people, we certainly shouldn’t be trying to change them. Only God can change a person, so plead with him on behalf of other people.
- THE POWER AND BLESSINGS OF FAITHFULNESS
- The 6 sins against the Holy Spirit you should Know
- 10 Practical ways to overcome anger easily
Criticizing a believer – How to receive them?
Piously criticizing a believer not only goes in his only sense. We must learn how to receive criticism. Let’s look at some key points:
1. Hungry to grow.
Do you want to grow in spiritual maturity? Do you long to be more like Jesus? If so, then you should do everything you can to kill the pride that wants to protect your image. When others criticize us, our natural reaction is to defend ourselves and make excuses for the criticism they raise. Brothers and sisters put to death the idol of the image.
- Proverbs 12:1 says, “He who loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is a fool.”
The reason those who hate reproof are stupid is that there is nothing better than being corrected for the glory of God. So pray to God to make you want to grow in holiness and usefulness above all other things. Ask him to help you not to be afraid of becoming stronger by being humbled by the help of those who are speaking in his life.
2. Suppose it needs to be corrected.
Proverbs 12:15 reminds us that “a fool’s way is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to his advice.” Does it assume that you need people in your life to criticize and correct you? Do you assume that others can see things in you that you might be blind to? It is foolish to assume that, even on our best days, the critical perception of others cannot help us.
3. Don’t be offended easily.
” If any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him because you are worse than he thinks .” The pride in our hearts is often kindled when someone says corrective words to us. Ask God to help you remember that it is far less cutting than what God has told you in the gospel, no matter what someone says to you.
4. Ask clarifying questions.
When someone criticizes you, thank them for helping you grow and then ask questions. Ask for examples to help you understand better.
Ask for suggestions on how you could change. By doing this, you turn criticism into a conversation, which is always the best place for growth to happen.
5. Suppose there is at least some truth in what others tell you.
People are not infallible, so there are times when their words of criticism will be unfounded and unwarranted.
Your first response should not be to shoot holes in what they are saying but rather to see what part of the truth can be salvaged from their words. It’s rare that you can’t find a little gold even in the largest amount of garbage.
When others correct you, you are not the only one who benefits. Because you are part of the Body of Christ, your growth means good things for every one ( 1 Cor 12 ).
7. Do it for the glory of God.
First Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink or do anything else [including giving and receiving criticism], do it all to the glory of God.” This means that our goal in giving, receiving, and applying criticism should always be to help God be seen clearly in our lives and in the lives of others. If the fame of God is our highest goal, it will protect our hearts in what can be difficult and difficult conversations.
Creating a culture of sharpening in the church so as not to criticize a believer in a discriminatory way
What we don’t want to do is create a culture of critics who are constantly looking at each other for mistakes. But what we do want to see is a church that goes so deep in their love and cares for one another that they are willing to engage in deep, painful, graceful, helpful, character-building conversations that will bring much glory to God.
1. Preach the gospel.
The more regularly we preach and apply the gospel to ourselves and others, the more equipped we are to give and receive grace-centered criticism.
2. Be a role model for others.
Pastors and spiritually mature people should serve as role models for those around them ( 1 Cor 11:1 ). How are you opening yourself up to criticism as a model for your flock? How are you offering and inviting godly criticism as part of your date nights, family reunions, staff meetings, or discipleship relationships?
3. Invite people to be critical in a good way.
Make giving and receiving godly criticism a normal part of your discipline relationships. This doesn’t mean they should always criticize each other, but it does mean they want to give each other permission to speak freely. This has proven to be a wonderfully fruitful and liberating practice.
Find ways to make giving and receiving feedback a standard part of your life. In the same way, you should include prayer, planning, and review of services. This time of receiving feedback on preaching can prove invaluable in growing as a minister of God’s Word.
5. Protect yourself from cultivating a critical spirit.
If you are part of a church that gives and receives godly criticism, you will sometimes be tempted to develop a critical spirit. Every song, every prayer, every sermon, and every conversation can be subject to scrutiny. We must guard our hearts against this sinful quality. It is not godly to be critical, but it is godly to be able to help others with criticism. Understanding this distinction is essential to every person’s life.
6. Simultaneously cultivate a breath culture.
A culture of encouragement is the key to a healthy culture of criticism. I’m not sure what a healthy ratio is. If the encouragement is intentional, persistent, and honest, then the criticism will serve as a polishing cloth for the hearts of others. If not, it will turn into a flamethrower.
7. Pray for them.
Pray that God will create a culture in your church that will help each other grow. Pray that he will give you and others wisdom to encourage one another to godliness ( Hebrews 10:24-25 ). Pray that you will cultivate humility in your church that delights to be corrected according to God’s truth ( Acts 17:11 ). And above all, pray that by speaking the truth in love, the church will be built up into a body that brings glory to Jesus ( Ephesians 4:15 ).
As you can see, criticizing the believer becomes dangerous and sinful when done in the wrong way. We must build each other up, do it lovingly, and not expose the faults, but work with the fallen and raise him up. We hope we have helped you with this information. God bless you.