Faith Messages to build your faith

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Discernment vs. Criticism Part 2

 Jean Oathout continues with thoughts on Criticism today:

It is rather easy to see other people's faults and weaknesses.

Criticism, we find, can become a negative 

of discernment. 

That is why there is so much responsibility in moving in any of the discernments we may have. 

When any part of these thoughts go to the extreme, alas, the 

negative shows up as Criticism. Sometimes, things we say may 
hurt people.

If you see weakness in someone's life that doesn't affect their ministry to others and the purposes of God, then just love them. 

Criticism takes place when we voice our opinion in a demeaning way. Our attitude plays a large part in our sharing what we've "discerned."

When you've heard something disturbing about someone, pray for God's guidance to know if you should go to the person spoken about, to find out the truth. 

If it's a lie, you may need to tract down the lie, and face the guilty one spreading the "criticism," and get the truth. Put the devil under foot! 

Negative thinking and speaking does not honor God, nor edify anyone. It tends to cause us to hold something that we've discerned against someone.

We build a wall that keeps us, and them, from any hope of change. It causes a blockage to blessing, too.

Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which: 

   Am I hearing from the Holy Spirit, or am I simply dealing 
   with my not-always-kind-and-compassionate soul?

Some folks may need to be careful how they respond, when they've come out of a critical spirit themselves. We all can make a cutting comment that can hurt another person.

Think through what you're about to say, and ask yourself these questions: 

   Is this edifying? Will this build the person up, or will it hurt 
   them? Am I in a relationship with them, that I have some 
   authority to even say anything about what I see?

If you do, pray and ask God to give you the ability to help them

 see what concerns you, and then give you a strategy to help them overcome the flaw. Matt. 18:15 {go to them in private first}. 

(An example of this would be, every time you get together with a friend of yours, you find them talking badly about other people.)

You'll show your spiritual growth when you can look at someone's "flaw", and share it only with them, or who may have a specific need to know. 

A good rule:

 If, after you've gone to the individual involved, and they 
won't hear you, go "up-line" with concerns you may have 
about something. Go to your pastor, elder, husband, father, 
or employer/supervisor for advice. {Refer to Matt. 18:15-17}.

It would be helpful to say:

   "_______, here's something I'm sensing... I haven't 
    mentioned it to anyone. I wanted to bring it to you
    to see if you had any recommendations. Do I simply 
    pray about it? Do I tell anyone? Is there any action 
    you think I should take?"  

Leave it there, and allow the leader to "take it from there." 
You've done your part.

Your having said, "I haven't mentioned it to anyone" 
is very 
important, as otherwise, it could  just become gossip. It can 
also cause the person you're sharing it with to have doubts 
about the person mentioned, and cause further hurt. 

When we give our critical opinion to someone, there remains 
an awkwardness between them and us, though forgiveness 
may have taken place.

We seem to think that we'll "help" them 
by calling attention to what we're noticing. 

It's not a good idea, unless 
we're asked to give it. In other words, this is to be avoided.

What's in our hearts? 

The Bible says that what's in there comes out our mouths... Luke 6:45 tells us either good or evil will come from our hearts, {depending on it's spiritual condition.}

The temptation we'll face: 

    What if the person doesn't think this is from God 
    and doesn't do anything? 

How big is your God? 

    Trust Him to handle it, and go right on praying.

Another aspect in understanding Criticism is, when 
you're the one being criticized. Examine what was said, 
and find any truth in it, so you can benefit by it in some 

Whether the person thinks well of you, or is simply 
finding fault with you, be careful not to retaliate with 
harsh words.

It's difficult to take criticism humbly and graciously, 
and to seek to learn something from it. 

Remember: Not every negative thought is necessarily a 
signal that we need to change our behavior. 

A gentle and gracious answer should always be the 
standard response  from a child of God. Prov. 15:1 
"gentle answer."

We should also consider that what we have taken as 
hurtful, may not 
have been intended that way at all. 

Hopefully, what I've shared on the subject of Criticism, today, will help us think more seriously about criticizing others. I'm thankful for what my pastor shared with me, 
as well as some helpful suggestions from friends. 

I had a recent experience of receiving some critical thoughts, while reading Discernment vs. Criticism Part 1 
and today's post, to my writer friends at our meeting. 

   I was thinking that I had done a poor job, and that I'd 
have to re-write it the whole time I was reading to them!

   I can now see that the evil one tried to discourage and 
hinder me from using what I'd written. It must be, the  Lord's 
planning on using them to help His people! I trust so.

Thankfully, a friend spoke encouragement to me immediately
 after the meeting, that what I'd read really helped him. 
 Is. 59:19b "The LORD will lift up a standard."

As a result, I'm working on another draft, scheduled for the 
10th of August, called Doubt vs. Faith. I believe the Lord 
wants that subject covered, too. 

As some of you may have noticed, the original posting 
disappeared today! Fortunately, I'd copied it into a Word
document, so I've had to recreate the entire post for you.
God is Good to have helped me in this, as I'm sure it is
and important message.

Let’s pray:

   Father, it is my desire to do what is
pleasing to You. May my thoughts be
ones that honor You, as well as the
others I come in contact with each day.
   I understand that what I say, as well
as what I think, does matter to You.
   My words can hurt others, if spoken in
a demeaning, critical way.
   I ask that You set a watch at the door of 
my mouth, that
I not sin. 
I ask this in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Today’s Bible verse: Is. 45:2a "I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight."

Today’s quote: Mary Southerland “We live in a broken world and life is filled with pain, challenges, dark times and trials, but today can still be a day of thanksgiving and praise because praise and thanksgiving have little to do with our circumstances and everything to do with our inner attitude toward God. It really doesn’t matter how much we lose here, [my friend]. I have read the Book and we win … for all of eternity! We just need to take the time to remember … and give thanks.”

Some thoughts today: God will battle for you, until you can battle. Submit yourself to God. He will enable you to speak His truth to your lost friends.

- It's not by your might, but God's! His Spirit will move through you, and in them.

- Let this day be the answer to the crossroad of your life. Seek God, and follow what He directs.

3rd- Sunday’s post:  Walking Through Dark Valleys
Charles F. Stanley

3rd- evening's post:  Tenderhearted
Ginny Merritt

5th- Tuesday's post:  #107  Avoid the Dangers
C. Peter Wagner

7th- Thursday's post:  #108  Spiritual Dependency
C. Peter Wagner

A popular post: Thoughts and Temptations Dutch
tells us, “Considering the third aspect of stronghold,
{found in 1 Cor. 10:3-5}, the Lord tells us we can “Take
every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”

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