What The Bible Says about a Critical Spirit
Definition of Critical – Inclined to find fault, or to judge with severity
Quote: It is impossible to help anybody after they have developed a critical spirit.
I. The Causes of a Critical Spirit
A. An Unhealthy Appreciation of Self – vs. 14 the ruler of the synagogue
- Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
A critic is one that considers themselves an authority or a master of a subject which qualifies them to point out the good and the bad. Their own knowledge and expertise is their authority; not a defined standard.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary: A person skilled in judging of the merit of literary works; one who is able to discern and distinguish the beauties and faults of writing. In a more general sense, a person skilled in judging with propriety of any combination of objects, or of any work of art; and particularly of what are denominated the Fine Arts. A critic is one who, from experience, knowledge, habit or taste, can perceive the difference between propriety and impropriety, in objects or works presented to his view; between the natural and unnatural; the high and the low, or lofty and mean; the congruous and incongruous; the correct and incorrect, according to the established rules of the art.
We ought to wake up every morning singing, “I’m not worthy to be here, but THANK GOD I belong!”
B. An Unbiblical Adherence to a System – vs. 14
Where did this rule come from? Where did he come up with this?? You can only be healed on certain days?
- Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Truth is, he made this rule up. Since he had never had a person healed in his synagogue on a sabbath, surely God cannot be in it!
A critical spirit will come when you are always thinking you know what OUGHT to be done when the truth is, you don’t have a clue!
Here he was telling people when they OUGHT to come get healed, and he had never healed anybody! In essence, He was limiting God – trying to cram God in his own little test tube!!
He was an expert in a system that didn’t even exist except in his own mind.
C. An Unreasonable Attitude toward the Sovereignty of God – vs. 14
NOTE: He was upset with what God did, so he took it out on the people.
God can do what He wants to, when He wants to, however He wants to. Deal with it!
He mistook GOD working for MAN working. (there are six days in which men ought to work) It wasn’t man working – it was GOD.
You say – “I just don’t understand it.” If you understood everything, you’d be God.
His ways are past finding out.
- Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
Keep your mind open to this possibility: God might work in a way you never thought possible or have never seen before. God might use somebody you didn’t think He could, He might save somebody you never thought could be saved. He might manifest Himself in a manner that you’ve never seen before. He might be trying to teach you something! Quit criticizing and learn!!!
II. The Curses of a Critical Spirit
A. It will Belittle the Positive – vs. 14 (because that Jesus had healed…)
Positive things such as:
- Jesus is in the midst – vs. 10 (theirs wasn’t the only synagogue; they were honored)
- Jesus was teaching them things – vs. 10 (many people never learn anything or grow)
- There were people in the place that were there in spite of their infirmities – praise God!
- Jesus was still calling hurting people to himself – vs. 12 that’s a blessing!
- Jesus was still laying his hands on people and touching people – vs. 13
- People were still getting straightened out after years of being wrong – vs. 13
- New converts were praising and glorifying God – vs. 13
Did any of this matter? NO!! The man with the critical spirit saw NONE of the positive things
B. It will Badger the People – vs. 14 …and he said unto the people…
Interesting NOTE: We find no record that this ruler of the synagogue ever badgered or criticized this woman UNTIL she got STRAIGHT!
For 18 years, she had been in a mess, and he never helped her.
Now she’s right with God and he gets mad!
If somebody bothers you, just imagine how bad it would be if you’d known them before they met Jesus!
C. It will Buck the Praising – vs. 13, 14 they glorified; he answered with indignation
- A critical spirit will cause you to pout when others are praising.
- A critical spirit will make you mad when others are magnifying.
- A critical spirit will make you tense when others are testifying.
- A critical spirit will cause you to hinder people when God is trying to help people.
- A critical spirit will cause people to ask “What’s wrong with him or her?”
Do excited Christians get on your nerves?
Do people that brag on the Lord and the church and their pastor irritate you? You’re critical!
D. It will Broadcast the Poison – in vs. 10, Jesus is teaching; where is the ruler then?
He let EVERYBODY know where he stood on the subject. Notice that nobody asked him.
Watch out for this line – “Well, if you ask me…” Nobody will. They don’t care as much about what you think as you do!
Critical spirits are not happy until they’ve poisoned everybody they meet with their criticism.
Question: Do the excited, testifying, praising Christians stay excited, keep testifying and are they still praising after you’re done with them?
Do you find yourself more comfortable around those that are uncomfortable?
- Ever noticed that the people that are most critical are the one’s that’s not doing anything?
- Ever heard a soul winner complain about too many visitors?
- Ever heard a bus worker complain about the mess that bus kids make?
- Ever heard a grass cutter complain about how the grass was cut?
- Ever heard a friendly hand shaker complain about not getting their hand shaken?
- Ever heard a shouter and testifier complain about a service being dead?
- Ever heard a servant criticize another servant’s way of doing something?
- Ever noticed that the one’s that never bring anybody to church can tell you how it’s done?
III. The Cures for a Critical Spirit
A. Admit your Hypocrisy – vs. 15 “Thou hypocrite!”
Most of the things that people criticize in others are things they are guilty of themselves.
- Illustration: The beam and the mote in the eye.
- Start judging people by the same standard you judge yourself! You’ll be more longsuffering.
Even if you had ALL YOUR DUCKS in a row and all your own personal issues resolved, you still wouldn’t have the right to have a critical spirit, but your own shortcomings and faults and failures make your critical spirit even that much more hypocritical!
B. Be Ashamed that your Heart is not 100% right with God – vs. 16, 17
God’s will was not their will. Their will always will contradict what God wants to do.
God’s will was all about this woman’s problem getting healed.
The critic’s will was all about his position being honored.
God’s was concerned about sinners; they were preoccupied with standards.
C. Acknowledge all the glorious things that are being done by Him – vs. 17
Stop looking for the negative and the problems and start seeing what God is doing.
There’s many faults and failures in the lives of everybody you come in contact with.
- Philippians 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
- I Cor. 13 Charity thinketh no evil…
Spend your time planting grass instead of pulling weeds.
You don’t have to elaborate on everything that you see wrong. Why not elaborate on what you see RIGHT and what God is doing?
- Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt,…