Bible Studies for Life Lesson for August 21- Don-t Criticize One Another
August 5 2011 by Catherine Painter, author, speaker from Raleigh

Focal Passages: James 4:11-12; Romans 14:1-12, 19

I remember with amusement an incident when my husband Jack and I were young and new to ministry. As I entertained a church member, I went to check on food in the oven. When I returned, my visitor was missing. In time she returned and explained, “I was just looking for a better place for you to hang that picture.” The incident is funny now, but I don’t remember laughing at the time.

As I have grown in Christ, I’ve learned, as I’m sure you have, certain things about criticism that warrant review:
  • Criticism can be verbal or non-verbal.
  • Raising the eyebrows, or rolling one’s eyes can speak volumes without saying a word.
  • Refusal to acknowledge others with conversation or eye contact is another non-verbal way to criticize, as it communicates disdain.
  • Everyone from time to time encounters criticism; the only people who don’t are in the graveyard.
  • Criticism of another person doesn’t make it true. When criticism comes from friends, there may be truth in it that can help us to grow in Christ.
  • Studying our critics can reveal what makes them critical by nature. Perhaps they have a painful home life, a crippling debt, or illness.
  • The cost of  “losing one’s cool” is high. It can affect our health and that of others when we give way to fits of anger at home or at work. No one enjoys being around someone with a “short fuse.” The writer of Proverbs said, “A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath” (Prov. 15:1).
  • Prayer and practicing the presence of God conquers a critical spirit, and renews fellowship with God.
Paul said, “For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God’” (Rom. 14:11).

James warned, “There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?” (Jas. 4:12).

We are wise to leave it to God to “set others straight” and make Jesus our example. He completed His work while enduring harsh criticism.

The Pharisees were jealous of Him and envied His great following. He was accused of blasphemy, called the son of the devil, and charged with being insane.

Paul declared that one day, “Each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Rom. 14:12). Until then, whenever we’re criticized, let’s forgive and remember to forget.
8/5/2011 6:02:00 AM by Catherine Painter, author, speaker from Raleigh | with 0 comments

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