Can the Critic
A Devotional by Tim Lawrence
God created speech as a way to communicate with others and most importantly to praise Him.
God spoke the world into being. He used words to create life. Jesus used the power of words to raise the dead and to heal the sick. The book of James tells us that the tongue is the most powerful part of our body able to bring both life and death.
When I sit back and listen to conversations going on around me (wherever I go), most of what I hear is people criticizing others. “___ did this dumb thing…” “___did something wrong…” There is a common theme and it’s very negative.
I am very guilty of this, though, too.
But I want to change, and I challenge you too as well. I think about the verse where Jesus says “He who is without sin cast the first stone”. If I am struggling with the same thing I am criticizing others for I have no place to speak. Who am I to judge others when I am just like them?
Jesus commands us to love others, Romans 12:9-10, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil and cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves”. If we truly love others will we be constantly criticizing their every move? I have found that when I stop judging others it is much easier to speak well of them. And if I truly want to obey God’s command to love others, I will look past mistakes and see the good in their lives because that’s how God sees us.
If you look back to just after the flood (Genesis 11), all the world spoke the same language. But, they started to think too highly of themselves and began to build a tower. God then changed their language to stop them from building their kingdom. I believe the devil is using the same tactic to hinder us from building the kingdom of God. If he can get us to tear each other apart with our communication, he can seriously hinder the building of the kingdom of God.
So what can we do? How can we be different? Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against you”, put the word of God in your heart so that it overflows from your life.
Spend time with Jesus so that He can direct your speech. I want to both challenge and encourage you to speak as if Christ is really in your heart, and making a difference in your life.