Being critical of ourselves and others often times comes more naturally than being positive and encouraging. Why is that? Here are just a few reasons:
- Self Esteem: We don’t like who we are so we say negative things about ourselves.
- Jealousy: We might be jealous of what someone else has so we minimize it to make ourselves feel better.
- Power: We like to have power over people, so being critical makes them want to please us.
What’s wrong with those reasons? They don’t reflect the heart of God.
God doesn’t speak negativity over us
God isn’t critical of us, though we are quite deserving of it. Instead of putting us down, God wants us to know our value to him. We have been created in his image and designed with unique qualities and abilities. He speaks love over us and showed his love to us through Jesus on the cross.
Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.
1 John 4:10 This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
We should speak life, not death
Do you respond well to criticism from others? It’s typically not motivating. Criticism is crushing and defeating. Don’t be that to yourself or to others. Instead, choose to speak words of encouragement and praise. Choose to see the positive side of things, not the negative and treat others the way God has treated you.
Ephesians 4:29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them
- Watch the video together or invite someone to summarize the topic.
- What is your initial reaction to this video? Do you disagree with any of it? What jumped out at you?
- On a scale from 1-10, how critical of a person are you? What rating would others give you?
- Of the three reasons above, which one resonates the most with you?
- How has your critical spirit affected your life and that of others?
- Read Psalm 86:15. What does this verse say about God’s character? How does knowing how God treats us help us to know how to treat others?
- Read Ephesians 4:29. What is this verse telling us to do? What will you do to start being more positive and less critical with yourself and others?
- Write a personal action step based on this conversation.