Criticism! You are probably wondering, What has it got to do with me?
As Christians, it has everything to do with our character. We do it more often sometimes than unbelievers but we are not called to criticise one another, we are called to correct in love. It may be easy to get caught up in the act of criticism but Jesus said: “Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matthew 7:1). When we criticise others for what they have done wrong, we get criticised in turn. This should not be our world. Christians are not called to criticise fellow Christians neither are we called to judge the world. We are called to correct in love.
When you criticise others harshly, it may send them to tears, it may make them feel sad and they may feel little about themselves. This does not promote the image of Christ and it does not show the love of God. But when we correct in love, then we would be doing our heavenly father’s will. We would have spread His love to the human’s heart and we would have helped the other person to draw a little bit closer to God.
Criticism may be the order of the day in the world today and it may be good when done constructively but it is very destructive when it crosses the borderline from the good side to the hypercritical judgemental side. Christians are meant to see what Christ sees in people, hear what His father says about His creation and act towards them in the way that He would have acted towards them. We are meant to promote the image of Christ in people and help them to see who God sees in them.
You ought to be open-minded and approach everybody with no judgement in your heart. You ought to show mercy and compassion just like Christ showed mercy and compassion to so many people. With the woman at the well who had seven husbands, Christ did not condemn but He gently asked her to turn away from her sins and follow the truth. With Zacchaeus, Jesus lovingly offered him salvation. You ought to do likewise to those around you.
This is not the year to be hypercritical of yourself. It should no longer be acceptable in your spirit to continue with self-criticism and self-loathing. Being hypercritical and judgemental condemns and judges you harshly but this is not what God says about you. Instead, God says that “there is therefore no more condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus for those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death!. (Romans 8:1). You have been set free from the law of sin and death, therefore give up the criticism spirit.
When you find yourself being hypercritical of yourself and judgemental of others then you need to trace yourself back to the word of God and accept the love of God which is always available for you. One thing that Christ never did, is to see the weakness in people and use it against them. Instead, he strengthened the feeble knees and healed the brokenness in people (Isaiah 35:3).
Christ is available to do the same for you. He does not condemn you rather he accepts you just the way you are and you ought to accept the love of Christ into your heart so that you can be truly set free from this awful spirit that just wants to hold you bound.
Hypercriticism only sees its own perfection and tends to think it is above any mistakes. It complains all the time and constantly points out your errors without any consideration for your feelings. It tears down instead of building up. It only drives people away from the God of love, peace, mercy and justice. Its personality is far from God’s image and likeness originally created in you (Genesis 1:26).
Criticism is not a good spirit to embrace or operate in at all. It is high time you gave up the criticism spirit, accept who you are in Christ, nourish yourself with the word of God and bask in who God says you are. Should you struggle to give up this spirit, the following declarations could help you overcome it and accept who you are in Christ Jesus.
Speak the Word and Change Your World
Today, I accept who I am becoming in Christ. I am not defined by the judgement or the criticism of others and I do not yield to the negative criticism about me but I will yield to the Spirit of God and I will allow Him to define who I am in Christ day by day.
My eyes are opened to my faults and I will not mask them with personal ego but I will bring them to the foot of the cross so that I may be rid of them. I am no longer blinded to the sins that so easily consume me but my eyes are opened so that I can let go and allow God to live through me.
Henceforth, I will treat others in the same way Christ would have treated them. I do not exalt myself above those who are around me but I humble myself and I count myself as nothing until Christ makes me somebody.
I accept who I am in Christ Jesus and I give up the criticism spirit. Henceforth, I see me the way God sees me and I act accordingly through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).
Christ has made me the light of the world and I bring light to the world in the midst of darkness. Henceforth, Therefore, I will not criticise or judge others so harshly but, I will correct in love and point others to Christ who perfects our faith. I will extend the same love which Christ has shown me to people around me.
I declare an end to unwholesome words coming out of my mouth. Henceforth my words shall edify and lift up others in the spirit of Christ (Ephesians 4:29)
I declare the mercies of God over my life overrides the condemnation of the critical spirit. Henceforth I will live my life in the mercies of Christ which is readily available to me. I will no longer subject myself to the torture of condemnation and self-criticism but I will live in the grace of God through Christ my Lord (James 2:13)