Day 30 | Accepted
As we consider today's devotional, "Judging the Faith of Others," one of the challenges is to not become negative about the negativity of others. To help this, I am posting another devotional from our book Possessing Joy. Enjoy!
DAY #19 Enemy of Joy: A Critical Spirit
An obsessive attitude of disapproval and finding fault is called a “critical spirit.” Those with this attitude regularly see negatives, regularly complain and are usually upset with something or someone. Their identity is rooted in what they are against rather than what they are for. This spirit greatly hinders joy.
A critical spirit is fueled by insecurity, competition, perfectionism and self-criticism. Insecurity causes us to devotional on the faults of others so that we don’t have to fully face our own issues. (We tend to judge ourselves by our motives and others by their actions.) Competition creates an “us against them” mentality. (The successes of others are seen as a threat to our own future.) Perfectionism makes us “not fun to be with” because we give little encouragement for improvements or positive steps made by others. The biggie, though, is self-criticism. This greatly feeds the critical spirit. Let’s explore this one further.
When Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), He was giving us more than a command. He was sharing this principle of life: how we feel about ourselves will strongly affect how we feel about others. If we love ourselves, we will love others. If we hate ourselves, we will have a tendency to hate others. If we accept ourselves, we will accept others. If we are critical of ourselves, we will often have a critical spirit concerning others. Letting go of the critical spirit can be scary. There is a fear that doing this will actually increase negative behavior in others. (It is believed that keeping negative will help others “tow the line.”) The use of criticism as a motivational tool may bring some short-term positive results, but it will produce long-term relationship strain (as well as damage the “father concept” in people’s lives).
When we get a life-altering revelation of how much we are loved and forgiven, then we are on the road to eliminating the critical spirit. When we see how much mercy we have been given, then we will give mercy. Of course, this does not mean that we are ignoring problems that need to be addressed; but we will do so from a spirit of love and wholeness, and not from a “critical spirit.”
Let’s just laugh at this lie: “Sinners and fools deserve to be criticized.” HAHAHAH!!
Declare: I have great joy because I am loved and forgiven by God. I see the good in others. The critical spirit is far from me.
LET'S DECLARE THIS!
“I have a wholesome tongue which is a tree of life to myself and others!”
(Proverbs 15:4, Proverbs 11:30, Proverbs 18:21)
- Read Today's Devotional in Igniting Faith in 40 Days.
- Steve’s Daily Declarations – Click here for a printable PDF.
- Daily Bible Reading – Click here for Igniting Faith in 40 Days' suggested Bible reading for this day.
- Laugh at a few good lies! – Learn more about laughing at lies here.
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Abounding in Hope,
The Negativity Fast Team