‘Take delight in honouring each other.’ Romans 12:10 NLT
Having a critical attitude may not destroy your relationship with God, but it’ll definitely hurt your capacity to experience His love, His presence, and His blessing. Notice, it was God who smote Miriam with leprosy. She started out by criticising her brother Moses, and ended up feeling the consequences in her relationship with the Lord. Why? Because God pays attention to the way we treat each other! Maybe you’re wondering, ‘Why would God make such a big deal out of this?’. Because when you choose to sin, you choose to suffer. Everything God classifies as sin is hurtful to you – everything. When God says, ‘Don’t,’ what He really means is, ‘Don’t hurt yourself.’ And when He says, ‘Don’t criticise,’ He’s not trying to deprive you of satisfaction. He’s saying that having a critical attitude goes against who He made you to be, and what you’re called to do. Just as fish were made to swim and birds were made to fly, you were made to live in fellowship with God – and a critical spirit hinders that fellowship. Even people who don’t claim to be particularly religious are cognisant of the negative effects of criticism. Dr David Fink, author of Release from Nervous Tension, studied thousands of mentally and emotionally disturbed people. He worked with two groups: a stressed-out group and a stress-free one. Eventually one fact emerged: the stressed-out group was composed of habitual fault-finders and constant critics of people and things around them. On the other hand, the stress-free group was loving and accepting of others. There’s no doubt about it, the habit of criticising is a self-destructive way to live. Don’t go there.