Fast From Criticism
Don’t speak evil against each
other, my dear brothers and
sisters. If you criticize each
other and condemn each
other, then you are
criticizing and condemning
God’s law. But you are not a
judge who can decide
whether the law is right or
wrong. Your job is to obey it.
James 4:11 NLT
Catherine Marshall tells of the time she decided to do a -day experiment. Oh, it
really was an eye-opener for her. You see, she had a problem common to most of us. She found it too easy to be critical of others. Well, one morning as she meditated on the verse, “So don’t criticize each other anymore,” (Romans 14:13 TLB) she became aware of the Lord nudging her to not be critical for one day.
Of course she tried to shove it off. But she couldn’t get it out of her mind. So she tried to rationalize her critical attitude. After all, aren’t we to use the intelligence God gave us to analyze and evaluate—even though the results is not always positive? The nudging continued right through the debate going on in her mind until she finally agreed to give the experiment a try—but just for the one day would she fast from criticism.
Through most of the morning she kept wondering what the result would be at the end of the day. The lunch with her husband and friends was normal except for the unusual silence of one person— Catherine. She had not committed to silence, just to not criticizing. It surprised her to realize how much of her conversation was usually critical an judgmental. She was silent only because she couldn’t contribute to the conversation without judging. So, she kept quiet and no one seemed to notice. A sting to the pride as well.
It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that something special began to happen. The floodgate of ideas began to open and creative thoughts flowed through in a way she hadn’t experienced in a long time.
At day’s end she marveled at all that had transpired simply because she refused to entertain a critical attitude. A letter to encourage a friend, insight into praying for a college student, seeking her child’s forgiveness, all filtered through her freely because there was no negative thoughts to stop them.
Catherine’s one-day experiment became a lifetime habit.
Catherine Marshall, Retold by Marilyn K. McAuley
A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.